Editors complain they receive far too many of them.
Some companies turn every little piece of news into one.
Many people think that press releases have had their day.
However a well written, on-message press release can be an integral part of a company’s content strategy that encompasses traditional, digital and social media.
The Role of Press Relations
“The purpose of press relations is not to issue press releases, or handle enquiries from journalists, or even to generate a massive pile of press cuttings. The true purpose of press relations is to enhance the reputation of an organisation and its products, and to influence and inform the target audience.”
Wragg, D., in Bland et al (1996) Effective Media Relations, Kogan Page
Planning a strategic communications campaign, in which press releases play a role, is essential to getting a brand’s message out to the right people at the right time. The humble press release is a basic essential for effective PR campaigns that facilitates:
- Effective communications to build reputation with the market
- Delivery of clear and consistent messages in support of business goals:
- Contacts and leads
- Lead nurture
- Increased sales
We encourage our clients to embrace the press release for a number of reasons:
- Press releases help to generate media coverage – especially by sticking to one story per release, in addition to securing coverage in multiple places, raising an organisation’s profile and benefitting SEO
- To share important technical or scientific data factually in a way that resonates with the target audience
- Regular press releases help organisations to establish concise and consistent messaging
- Press releases often open new doors for media interview opportunities – all the better if they include a relevant quote that expresses an opinion on an important issue
Key requirements of a good press release?
- Clarity - be concise and to the point
- Facts and statistics - be clear, straight-forward and interesting
- Relevant applications - understand the story
- User benefits - research and target your audience
- Objectivity – let the content do the talking
- Current/newsworthy - tell the story in the first paragraph, people rarely have time to read beyond this if it’s not immediately of interest to them
- Insights - it’s all about the research
- Ready-to-print material (plus pics) - use supporting images and infographics
More than just press releases
There will always be a place for press releases but PR is so much more than that. Here at The Scott Partnership go beyond the basics when developing impactful, strategic campaigns for our clients. News announcements play a role but don’t forget about collaborating with customers and suppliers on joint PR opportunities. Comment on the back of other people’s news stories and approach journalists and bloggers with ideas for articles and guest blogs. Hosting events, securing speaker opportunities, launching information packs and guides, supporting local charity and community initiatives and entering awards are just some of the ways in which you can raise your profile with the audiences that matter.
In a nutshell: PR comes down to planning, research, building relationships and giving editors, journalists and bloggers what they want, consistently, time and again.
We have first-hand experience of making press releases work hard for our clients to increase awareness of their brand and to help them achieve their sales and marketing objectives. But don’t just take our word for it: journalists value this more than you think, as demonstrated in this great article by Marcus Lippold for The Analytical Scientist.
If you would like to learn more about our experience in designing and delivering impactful media relations programs on behalf of our clients and how we can help you to create meaningful content strategies that generate results, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01477 539 539.
By Sarah Morley, Senior Account Manager at The Scott Partnership