After you develop a publicity strategy and a plan, the first step to get publicity is to write a press release. This critical document is used by the media to identify trends, locate experts, and select story ideas.
1. Select a message
Getting publicity takes consistent effort and it takes a consistent message. Select a message you will communicate frequently over a period of 3-4 months. Write a series of press releases that focus on different aspects of the message. Make direct contact with the media, pitching your story and offering to be interviewed on the topic.
The press release should not be about your business. It shouldn’t be about you. It should be about a specific group of people. For example, you could write about baby boomers, small business owners or retirees. Your message should appeal to your ideal clients because that is ultimately who you want to reach.
Your press release should be newsworthy and should tap into the theme of hot topics and current trends in the news. It doesn’t have to be related to what you do as a business owner. But, that’s always a plus. Just remember not to promote. You are the expert!
2. Create a compelling title
Just like an article needs a compelling title, so does a press release. Look for examples of press release titles on PRNewswire.com. Don’t look at corporate press releases. In general, their press releases are boring are all about me, me, me. Keep your title simple and focus on the benefits of the message. You want to draw people in with the title.
3. Craft an informative opening paragraph
Keep your message focused and use the opening paragraph of a press release to communicate the who, what, when where and why. Include your city at the start of the paragraph. You can include a date or leave it off.
Grab the attention of the media and draw them into the press release. Give people a reason to read further. State the problem and explain that there is a solution.
4. Draft the press release
Draft an outline of the content and write the press release. Focus on providing value. If you want to get the media’s attention use the press release to provide tips and strategies that will be meaningful to an audience the media is trying to reach.
One of the strategies you can use in communicating with the media is to share 3 tips or strategies. If you have the opportunity to be interviewed by the media, you can’t ramble on, you need to be very focused.
Most people have a difficult time communicating a clear, consistent message. They’re all over the place. If this sounds like you, you need to invest some time in boiling your message down to its basics.
5. Quote yourself as an expert
One of the differences between an article and a press release is the opportunity to position yourself as an expert in a press release. Quote yourself in the press release 2-3 times. For example, “According to Rick Cooper, The Attraction Marketing Expert, “A press release can help you book an interview on radio or TV or be quoted in print media.””
Use words like “according to, says, said, indicates, states, stated, and shared. It might be uncomfortable in the beginning to write about yourself in the third person. Imagine someone else is writing the article for you. Do not list yourself as the media contact. Use someone else’s name.
A press release is a great tool to help you craft a compelling message for your publicity campaign. Post your press release on the internet, send it by email and include it in packages to the media. With consistent effort, you will get visibility and ultimately publicity. Read Guerrilla Publicity by Jill Lublin and Rick Frishman. Be persistent and seek out additional resources to help you learn how to get publicity.