Writing and sharing a press release is an excellent way to generate awareness and buzz for your business, and it can even be an integral part of your content or property marketing strategy.
Writing a press release is a bit different from writing a blog post, as you can’t just hit a publish button- you need to get past a gatekeeper to get to the eyeballs of their bigger readership.
What’s the story – and what’s news?
Write down the piece of news you want to share, in a sentence or two if you can, and then look for a newsworthy angle.
For example, you might be getting ready to publish a new suburb report, white paper or case study. That’s the story, but it isn’t that newsworthy as far as an editor is concerned.
To be newsworthy, your press release has to be relevant to the publication’s audience and this may require a bit of customisation, including how your research will impact the readers of the publication to whom you are pitching.
In the case of the suburb report or white paper, make it about how your findings will affect the end reader. For example, “Property prices to increase in Smithville as a result of new infrastructure plans”.
What should go in a press release?
Always go back to the five Ws: who, what, where, when and why. Answer these questions yourself before writing up your press release and keep in mind.
- what do I want the person reading to know?
- What do I want them to feel?
- What do I want them to do?
At the same time, think about where you can use quotes – and which personnel you might quote to give your press release some star quality, as well as some extra credibility.
When might I send a press release?
Here are some ‘good news’ events you might use to get publicity for your business (plus some things people send us press releases about!)
1 The opening of your business. Local media are keen to know about comings and goings on their beat – primarily if you are offering a helpful service to the community.
Make sure your press release highlights any community benefits. Throwing in a gift or special offer to entice people to visit your shopfront doesn’t hurt either!
2 A change in your service offerings. If you’re launching a new product, service or pricing model, this might be very newsworthy. Just keep in mind how your customer and/or reader would benefit and make that the focus of your release.
3 Joint ventures. If you’re combining forces with another company or individual and it benefits your target market, share that information in a press release.
4 The launch of your website. Just like the launch of a business, the launch of a website can also be newsworthy – particularly if it has useful features for the community or does something that is really different from others.
Again, offering a sweetener such as a gift in return for checking out your website can be an excellent strategy to raise awareness.
5 Make a prediction. Use local or national buzz to make a prediction that resonates with your intended audience. Include supporting evidence, facts and statistics for credibility.
6 Capitalise on current events. A popular news story is a perfect tie into your release. If you can relate a current story or theme to your business, it is quite likely the media will be interested.
For example, if your auction results aren’t what the national numbers are saying, that’s a pretty good story for a publication with a real estate audience.
7 Solve a problem. Is your target audience up in arms about a community issue or problem? Create a solution and present it to them, or provide an outlet for them to be heard.
For example, if there has been an unfortunate increase in criminal activity, work with other businesses and parents to help solve the problem.
8 Teach a course. Perhaps you have hidden talents, like Iolanda Gow of Green Street Property who last year held a self-defence class for women. Share the details of the class, who can take it and why you are offering it.
9 Announce an upcoming speaking engagement. This one is a good one for potential AREC speakers – talk to the local media about why you’re speaking and your chosen topic. Mention others who will be speaking or attending. Make sure you include how this will benefit your clients in the long run.
10 Recognise employees who give back to the community. Issue a press release celebrating one of your team who has done something worthwhile in the community.
11 Make a public statement on future property trends or conditions. You see plenty of this in the real estate industry. When interest rates change or ABS numbers move, many people issue press releases that demonstrate the impact on consumers given the new data.
12 Recognise new leadership. There is not enough good news these days, so if either your company or a professional or charitable organisation makes it into leadership it’s worth talking about. Just make sure it includes what it will mean to the people you serve.
13 Launch a social media group or competition. Have you created a local area or investor information Facebook group or LinkedIn group that offers a benefit to members? Ask the media to get involved in the conversations to keep up to speed with what’s happening in your area.
14 Earned media coverage. This can be a tricky one; however, you can issue a press release if you’ve received media coverage from another publication.
For example, if Choice rates your product as the best in real estate, you could issue a press release announcing that recognition. Just make sure the publications don’t compete!
15 A business restructure. Sometimes restructuring your business or business model can be newsworthy if you focus on the benefit for the customer.
16 The establishment of a unique agreement. Sometimes it’s newsworthy to discuss any innovative working arrangements you make with customers, employees or vendors. Again, highlight the benefit to your audience in the release.
17 Major milestones. When is your company’s anniversary? Have you reached x million in sales or x properties under management? If you’ve reached a significant milestone, a press release can help you share your successes and build your agency brand.
18 Share a story of personal challenge. If you or someone within your company has risen above adversity in some way, it may resonate with the media as a personal interest story. Tell them about the experience to inspire others.
19 Announce a big sale or record rental.
Think about why your sale is newsworthy (or create an interesting reason based on the market and the community).
Is there a particular angle (such as an organic veggie patch) that the community might be interested in?
Lastly, make sure you add a few important pieces of information to your press release: your company name, contact details, a paragraph about your company and any images that might be relevant to a story.
If the media calls, make sure you are available to clarify any details or provide further comment. The more organised you are, the more chance you’ve got of getting in the news (or even on TV).
If you have a news release for us please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.