If you’re looking to get in front of new customers and cement your relationships with current ones, showing up in your local newspaper or business press is an inexpensive and powerful way to gain visibility and credibility.
This guide will help you do that. Learn how to:
- Spot news of interest to local media
- Write a press release that will catch their attention
- Build a media list to reach the right people
When To Send a Press Release
Local publications like to feature news about business successes. Showing up in these publications, in both their on-line and/or print editions, reminds readers that your business is, indeed, doing well.
Send a press release any time your business:
- Adds a new employee, especially if it’s a new position
- Promotes an employee
- Buys a building
- Moves or expands
- Adds a new location
- Adds a service
- Wins an award
- Has an employee who receives an honor
- Celebrates a significant anniversary
A press release needs to be newsworthy. Sending out press releases on a regular basis is a good way to get the attention of a local paper, but the way to maintain that relationship is to avoid sending stories that are self-serving or promotional. It’s not an unpaid ad, so make sure you stay away from hype.
Editors and reporters get hundreds of emails every day from people looking for their attention, thus they may not use your story ideas every time you send them. To increase the chance of getting published, make your press releases as professional as possible. And don’t get discouraged if a release isn’t picked up; every time you send one, you have another chance that it will. Persistency in public relations is a virtue and a requirement, but remember the topic must be newsworthy!
How To Write a Press Release
Your press release is more likely to catch the attention of an editor or reporter if it is written in the style journalists are used to. Journalistic style puts the most important information first, often in the first paragraph. It’s called the “inverted pyramid”:
The idea is to capture the interest of the reader as soon as possible with the first sentence, which is called the lead. “The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn’t induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead,” said William Zinsser in his book On Writing Well.
A good lead:
- Makes the reader want to stay and spend their precious time with your story
- Sets the tone, pace and direction for everything that follows
- Serves as the puzzle piece on which the rest of the story depends
The rest of the first paragraph should answer the questions:
The next few paragraphs of the press release should explain why the news is important and can include a quote to amplify the message.
The final paragraph should be what’s called your company’s boilerplate. This is a consistent definition of your company/product/service. There’s no hype in a boilerplate (i.e. “the Midwest’s most reliable delivery service.”). It should be a dispassionate overview of who you are and what you do. It should end with: “For more information go to: YourWebsite.com.
How to Build a Media List
Once you have the press release, you’ll need to know who to email it to. Ideally, email it to a specific person. You can also try a department email address such as BusinessNews@MyDailyPaper.com, but you may need to send to a general email like editor@MyLocalPaper.com.
Include the following people on your media list:
- Editors of business publications that cover your area
- Reporters at daily papers in your areas who cover business
- Editors of local community papers that cover the area in which your business is located
- Newsletter editors for any business groups you belong to, for example the local Chamber of Commerce
- Newsletter editors for any logistics-related group you belong to
Make sure you also post your press releases on your website, if you have a tab for news, events or a blog. It helps add fresh content to your site.
How to Look Like a Pro
Today’s press release looks different than what you may have seen before. Laying out your release in a contemporary style makes you look more professional. Take a look at the release below for inspiration.
Pearl Transportation & Logistics Moves to Larger Space for the Second Time in Six Months
INGLEWOOD, CA, Feb. 3, 2020 – Pearl Transportation & Logistics has moved to larger offices for the second time in six months. The new space, at 419 Hindry Ave, Inglewood expands their offices and warehouse space from 3000 to 4500 square feet.
In June 2019, the company moved from a 750 square foot space on Eucalyptus Avenue to a 3000 square foot space at 420 Hindry. Their most recent move took them across the street to give them more space to accommodate their growing warehouse business. “For the last few months, we’ve had to use various off-site facilities around the area to meet the growing needs of our warehousing and fulfillment clients,” says Lorena Camargo, president of Pearl Transportation & Logistics. “The move to 419 Hindry allows us to consolidate all that off-site storage capacity into one warehouse. We can also supplement that with the additional access we have to another 7,000 square feet, depending on customer demand. All these options allow us to respond to the growing storage needs of our customers. They make both storage, fulfillment and delivery more efficient on our end and more responsive on the customers’ end.”
About Pearl Transportation & Logistics
Pearl Transportation & Logistics delivers anything anywhere. The company provides deliveries, pickups and warehousing in Southern California, the U.S. or around the globe. The women and minority-owned company offers courier services; on-demand pickups and deliveries; next flight out services; logistics consultation and services; dedicated trucking and warehousing and distribution. Pearl Transportation & Logistics is TSA certified to deliver cargo to the airlines and has earned the Women Business Enterprise designation. For more information see: peartrans.com.
Andrea Obston firstname.lastname@example.org
(860) 243-1447 (o)
(860) 803-1155 (c)