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Press Releases (Part 1 of 2)

Today in this blog post I’m going to talk about press releases.  Now press releases is a huge subject that can’t be fully covered in one blog post and I don’t intend to because there are experts out there that you should hire if you want to do this right and get HUGE publicity over the long term.

But I want to give you a good overview of how to use press releases in your Internet business so you can get a picture of how they can fit in to your business.

Now to start with, there are two main reasons why a person/company will do a press release.  The first is to get a reporter to actually give you a call or contact you for more information OR for a reporter to run your press release (close to how it is) as a story because it’s “news” worthy.

The second main reason you would want to run a press release is to get links back to your website which will build up credibility for your website and get some traffic.

So before doing a press release you need to understand your goals of the press release and then try to create your press release to meet your goals.

Ok, let’s now look at what is needed to actually get a reporter to call you if that’s your goal.

Press Release To Get Publicity

If you’re doing a press release to get publicity then you need to understand something very, very important.

Your press release must make it easy for reporters to put together an interesting story for their audience.

In short, you must give reporters what they want which is an interesting story that will make them look good and their audience will enjoy.

So it’s not about you.

Most people fail with press release because they are boring. Whenever you write a press release it must have potential for a fun and/or interesting story.

Generally, putting out a press release saying you’ve just hired “Bob Smith” is not going to get any publicity unless you’re already a huge corporate business.

When you look at stories in the news they are generally:

  • Sensational/Scandal
  • Bad News i.e. plane crashes, murders etc.
  • New discoveries
  • Weird/unusual things
  • Events

One of the easiest ways to get publicity is to tie your story to an event.

For example, let’s say you run a therapeutic massage business and Mother’s day is coming up.  Reporters will be on the lookout for stories around mother’s day.  So you could write up a press release letting reporters know that you’re giving away 10 free massages to mum’s for Mother’s day because you know how stressful being a mum is.  Or instead of giving away massages you could have a half price special just for Mums.

Do you think a story like that has a good chance of getting taken up in a local paper?

Of course it does.  But if you just had a half price special and put out a press release on that then who cares.  The reporter isn’t going to care.  That’s not going to make them look good with their audience.

But a feel good story about Mother’s day along with a free offer will.

So the take away for you here is that if you can tie a story to an event that is the absolute best possible chance for you to get FREE publicity.  If there is an event going on then reporters are looking for a story related to that event.

The other thing on that list that you would likely get picked up as a story would be a new discovery.  Now this discovery has to be really NEW.  It can’t be something like you discovered that if you ate less then you’d lose weight. :-)

It’s got to be something really new.

From my experience with press releases I would generally advise an offline business to try and tie a story they have in with an event and they’ll likely get publicity.  This can also be true online as well but it does work better offline.

Now if you have a truly big discovery then you could get a lot of publicity that could set up your business for a very long time.  I’ve heard of that happening with just one press release.  But that is the exception rather than the rule.

If you have generic type of information product that solves a common problem then you will not get publicity.

Now there are exceptions to this rule and here’s an example.  Let’s say you have an information product that claims to have an instant cure for the common cold.  And part of your instant cure is that you eat an uncooked clove of garlic.

Will you get publicity for that?

Maybe, but it will be more in the weird things category.  You won’t be taken seriously but rather you’ll be seen as some crack pot with a crazy idea.

If you have something like that and you don’t mind being seen by a lot of people as being crazy then that’s an angle you can take with your press release.

So you have to think about the angle of your press release very carefully before you try to get publicity.  Because if you’re going to spend money on a press release then you need to have a high chance it’s going to pay off in terms of getting publicity for your business.

To do this right however I suggest you hire a person to write you up a press release for you.  Just go on eLance.com and hire someone.  It won’t cost that much.  And then you can also hire someone (it may even be the same person who writes your press release) to get your press release out there into the right hands.  Or you can use services like:

  • PRWeb.com
  • BusinessWire.com
  • PRNewsWire.com
  • PRLeap.com

….to do this but my experience with press releases is that you need to find someone that has good contacts already if you want a reporter to call you.

So let’s say you don’t think your product or service has a good chance of getting publicity then you can still use press releases to improve your business and here’s how…

Press Release To Build Up Authority

Let’s say you have a pretty generic product/service but you wouldn’t mind a bit more good quality links for your websites to build up authority.  Also, you wouldn’t mind getting your name out there so your visibility is increased.  One very easy way to do that is to write up a press release and then submit it to a free press release submission service online.

Here’s a list of some free ones:

  • I-Newswire.com
  • Free-Press-Release-Center.info
  • PressMethod.com
  • TheOpenPress.com
  • EcommWire.com
  • 24-7 PressRelease.com
  • PR-Inside.com
  • NewswireToday.com
  • 1888PressRelease.com
  • OpenPR.com
  • PR.com
  • PRLog.org
  • Free-Press-Release.com

In my next blog post I’m going to show you how to write a press release so you can get it out there.

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