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The word ‘press release’ often suggests images of politicians, or celebrities or corporate CEOs addressing a group of journalists about some concerning issue. But a press conference is only the face-to-face communication part of it.
Press releases also take the form of a written communication, which is the focus of this article. If you run a business or manage a brand, it is not always necessary to organise a press briefing with journalists and members of the public. It is more cost-effective and time-saving to simply hand out a press release to a news site or a credible blogger.
If you are new to the process, don’t worry, you should be able to recognise different types of press releases by the time you finish reading this post.
What is a press release?
A press release is a written report that communicates a detailed but brief information about a circumstance, event or another occurrence. It is usually connected to an organisation or a business, and it is given to the media through various means.
However, that does not mean the media will immediately accept the press release and run it. This will depend on other factors such as whether it is a topic that interests their listeners or readers, or if it is something the benefits the public in some way.
If you are fortunate, other bloggers and social media influencers may pick your press release and share it. This promotion can garner widespread awareness for your brand and the message within.
Who writes a press release?
Whether it is for a business or an individual, a press release must be written by a professional. Some large businesses may have an in-house communications or PR team that writes press releases and supervises what content gets out to the public.
Other businesses may be too specialised to have a separate PR department. Instead, they outsource it to professional copywriters to handle. The advantage of this is that they release high-quality content, and have enough time to focus on their day-to-day activities.
Some press releases may be accessible for “instant release.” This means the information is available for anyone to share as soon as it is publicized. Conversely, some press releases may be time-specific, which means the information is only availed to a limited number of media outlets to report immediately. At a late time, the information is then released to other websites, news services, and blog owners.
The purpose of a press release
As a business owner or brand manager, it is important to know the objective of your press release. There is a difference between “news release” and “press release”. However, since the advent of internet media services and media professionals, this differentiation has become more complicated to understand.
The goal of any press release is to promote something specific and important to an organisation. It might be to create awareness for an event or start conversations about a topic. We will discuss more about the purpose under the different types of press releases.
6 Types of press releases
If you run a business, you want the world to know what services you provide, or the products you offer. A press release is an unpaid way to promote your message. Unlike other traditional advertising techniques, it is free. But before you write a press release, it is important to know what type your business requires.
News press release
A news press release is probably the most common type used by companies and organisations. Its purpose is to inform consumers about a general issue regarding your business. For instance, if you recently organised a fund-raiser for army vets, or received an award for outstanding services, it is newsworthy, and therefore usually written as a news release.
The body of the content typically answers the who, what, when and how of the news that occurred. It is important for the news release to be interesting so that it intrigues your readers. The more intriguing, the more likely they are to visit your website and learn more about your business.
Launch press release
Businesses with a recently opened retail outlet or new service line will want to inform their customers and other members of the public about the launch. A launch press release is ideal for this occasion. The content of this press release will focus on the new chain or service being introduced.
Launches are a big deal, and the way the press release is written will garner the type of attention you want. If it is blandly composed, you will get a bland response. But if it is crafted artfully with the nature of the launch and surrounding activity, the audience will be more interested. It is therefore important to contact a copy agency that specialises in press releases.
Product press release
Apple is a successful luxury brand whose new product launches always garner massive attention globally. Each time there is launch, news media and other press channels are agog with the news. While Apple enjoys a lot of earned media and PR, it still writes press releases.
Apple’s press releases focus on the benefits of the product features, the material, and whether there are upgrades from the previous model. There is also a specific language to connect with its audiences. It is important to consider all these factors before any press release is issued to the public. Most importantly, it should promote the interests of your organisation.
Staff press release
This may not be a common practice among small and medium-sized businesses, but it should be. Your workforce is a key part of your business’ operations, so you should proudly announce the hire of new talent. If you have recently employed a top executive or promoted someone to fill a significant role, run a press release about it.
The body should contain the biographical information of the new hire; their professional background, recent achievements and the new responsibilities they will be assuming. This interaction with your stakeholders is necessary for fostering the company’s corporate culture.
Expert press release
People love to hear when a business has recently added an expert to its team. It indicates a commitment to excellence and serving customers in a professional capacity. This release will focus on the expert’s previous workplaces and professional accomplishments. If they have contributed to research or growths related to the industry, it should be stated.
If you are aiming to increase the online authority of your business, this is the press release you should consider. Instead of announcing an expert, the focus should be placed on the milestones your business has achieved.
Event press release
When planning an event and you want to promote awareness, an event press release is the type you will consider. The press release will tell the public the 5 Ws of the event; the who, what, where, when and why. It is also important to time its release to allow enough time for people to attend.
Events are a great way to get your business to new customers. Some companies have admitted to gaining more inquiries and a spike in web traffic after an event. Ultimately, the more people who know about the event, the higher the potential new customers.
Benefits of press releases
Now you know what a press release is and the different types, it is good to know how it benefits your business and brand. Press releases deliver excellent results for virtually any business.
When a professional copywriter writes your press releases, you can expect the following benefits:
As an SMB owner with limited resources, how can you promote awareness of your company without spending a fortune? Because you know that content is king, you should also understand that carefully crafted copy will make your audience intrigued by your brand and willing to learn more.
Each type of press release plays a major role in exposing your business to the right audiences. Whether it is a product launch or a new awarded certification, use it as an opportunity to gain instant exposure in your industry. This is particularly valuable for a startup looking to establish itself in its niche.
Increased sales potential
Besides increasing credibility and keeping your business relevant in the public eye, press releases have the potential to grow your profit margin. When you announce any major event with a good press release, it inspires interest among new customers. The more people, know about your service, the more they visit your site.
With increased traffic and the right engagement strategy, you can guide customers along the sales funnel and get them to convert. However, if you don’t get the press release right in the first place, this will not be possible. Do you see the connection?
Augment your marketing campaign
A research conducted by MarketinProfs revealed that 71% of all B2B marketing experts rely on content marketing to produce new sales leads. This is good news for any business owners, but did you know you can boost the results of sales leads by increasing online visibility and generate revenue?
Press release are excellent communication tools to augment your existing strategy. They are not only affordable, but the return on investment is incredible. It makes a valuable addition to your marketing campaign.
Brand your business as an online authority
Press releases are an ideal way to blow your trumpet without sounding like a braggart. In fact, people are more amenable to press releases because of the writing style. It comes off as a news piece and therefore has a higher credibility status than traditional advertising channels.
So, if you have recently achieved a milestone or been awarded a new accreditation, write a beautiful press release about it. With engaging language, let your customers know how good you are. Touch them emotionally with a good PR campaign by branding your business as the answer to their pain points.
Increased benefits for SEO
Press releases are published by many online media companies, offering you plenty of opportunities for quality backlinks. Imagine the benefits this will bring to your site’s SEO efforts. The ranking alone can leapfrog other competitors on Google search engines. However, this may not be the case if keywords, proper linking or compelling copy are not considered in the writing.
It is one thing to write a press release that promotes your service, it is another thing to ensure that publication is search engine optimised. Online press releases must contain keyword-rich content and useful backlinks while promoting the original message for the company.
Build a good relationship with journalists
As a company, one group of stakeholders you want to keep close are the journalists. The press is usually a fast way to reach your target audience, and establishing good rapport is a big plus. As you build credibility for your business, people will want to read any information you put out.
Good journalists are picky about the kind of news they publish. If your company is good terms with a major news outlet, it will get favourable attention. Some news sites get up to half a million weekly views. Your business can gain immensely from such awareness.
Distributing your press release
It is not advisable to issue a press release to just any media site. Yes, they may be free, but some bloggers and news outlets have a notorious reputation. You don’t want them to be your first news release. If you are going for credible and professional, TMZ is a big no-no. We advise you to go for smart options.
It is extremely necessary to filter your selection based on credibility, SEO benefits, and traffic exposure.
Consider the following:
- Local press (community your business is based)
- Specialist press (your industry sector publication)
- National press
- Consumer press
Before the final publication, ask to look at the press release to ensure nothing has been changed. Is the photo the one you specified? Are you satisfied with the placement? If you run a professional firm, you don’t want the press release juxtaposed with sensationalist news.