Press releases do not have the impact they had a decade or more ago, but they still are a very important part of an effective marketing program for B2B industries. To make them all the more successful – meaning editors of major trade publications will post them online or place them in print – there are some winning strategies that can help.
Below are my top 10 winning strategies to create an effective press release.
If you or your company has been fortunate enough to have an article published in a major trade publication, initially you may glory in this achievement. Yet, you may soon realize the article has been forgotten in Internet space just days after going live. What can you do to keep that article working for you well past its first appearance?
The first step is to make sure the article appears online, as opposed to just being print-only. Most print publications also have an online edition, so be sure your article is available in both places. However, there is more you can do.
Even the best maintained web sites will have “dead-ends.” A dead-end takes many forms. The most common is referred to as the “404 Not Found.” You may see it listed as “page not found,” “HTTP 404 Page Not Found,” “server not found,” “no results,” or simply an error message.
If you have a business web site or even more importantly, an e-commerce web site, bumping in to a page not found can leave the visitor a bit disheartened and, if purchasing, a bit concerned.
PR Newswire, a leading press release distribution service, reports that the volume of press releases they are sending out has grown significantly in the past four years. That might imply that press releases are getting more and more coverage and are an effective way for companies to get their news into print and online publications.
However, while the volume may be up, the number of editors listening in may actually be tuning out. According to one reporter/editor for Newsweek, who says he receives literally thousands of press releases via email every year, “I deleted almost every one of them without even opening them.”
I have worked for myself for more than 40 years. In that time, I have started and owned four different businesses.
All four of those businesses shared two things in common. The first is that they provided me with a living (and often a comfortable living at that). The second common denominator:I built all four of them on cold calling.
There is an art and science to creating articles for trade publications.
One of the most important tasks for a PR/communication firm is crafting articles to appear in the key trade publications that cater to our client’s customers and prospects. While a lot goes into preparing these articles, the investment is well worth it, as they can prove to be a very powerful marketing tool.
The first step in creating these articles is to please the publication’s editor with your work. Once this is accomplished, the editor will also want to ensure that your article will help his or her readers in some way. And, of course, the goal is to seize this opportunity and tactfully promote the client’s company and its products.
More than 20 years ago, Microsoft released its Windows 95® operating system with great fanfare and excitement. The company spent more than $200 million on advertising and paid the Rolling Stones $8 million just for the rights to their song “Start Me Up,” which was used as background music in the ads.
To get the word out about Windows 95, Microsoft spared virtually no expense. The company believed at that time that their future greatly depended on the success of Windows 95.
AlturaSolutions Communications is a public relations, communications, and content marketing firm working specifically with B2B and related industries.
Founded by Robert “Buzz” Kravitz, AlturaSolutions works extensively with the professional cleaning, foodservice, hotel, hospitality, and Green -related manufacturers and organizations.
Our specialty is content marketing which entails educational, how-to articles on your own publication or in media publications that skillfully discuss the benefits and features of your company’s products and services, all the while educating the end user.
Why Not Just Advertise?
Advertising is great. It helps keep your products and company in the eyes of the consumer. However, advertising can be very expensive and, for many of us, it’s starting to look a lot like wallpaper. It’s everywhere—so much so that we often don’t really even notice it any longer.
And, it’s not only the volume of advertising that works against its effectiveness, it’s also the number of different messages we are exposed to every day. In fact, more than 900,000 different brands are currently being advertised in the U.S. media.
“As advertising has proliferated and become more obnoxiously insistent, consumers have gotten fed up,” writes Regis McKenna in the Harvard Business Review. “The more advertising seeks to intrude, the more people shut it out.”
How AlturaSolutions Can Help
AlturaSolutions Communications does not promote our clients products by advertising. Instead, we communicate with end customers through educational, how-to articles that discuss the benefits and features of your company’s products and services. We also produce an ongoing stream of content including news stories, product releases, social media messaging, and case studies promoting the benefits of your products and services.
But does it work? People have a greater tendency to believe what they read than what they see advertised—assuming they see the ad at all. Most people know that advertising is a one-sided message. So, to really find out what is the best brand or product to purchase, buyers ask other people, read articles, and search for information published in newspapers and magazines.
And although people may not believe everything they read in newspapers and magazines, they are definitely influenced by them. As motion picture legend Will Rogers once said, “All I know is what I read in the newspapers.”
- Published works boosts credibility.
- Builds brand awareness.
- Rejuvenates old products.
- Motivates buyers.
- Is relatively inexpensive.
- Reaches somebody; advertising reaches anybody.
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