Monday, August 31, 2009

Please Release Me

In addition to writing brochures, ads, website content, video and broadcast scripts, we also write press releases. But often, it’s like pulling teeth to get the client to consider what topics are worthy of a release.

Welcome to the back-from-vacation edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management.

“What’s so exciting about what I do?” they’ll protest. To which I say, you’re either too modest or you’re too close to the situation. The old “can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees” syndrome.

Well, if you’re too close to your business that you can’t see what might be of interest to your customers and prospects alike, you can be forgiven. If it’s because you’re too modest, well…sorry, you can’t be forgiven.

You’re in business…to do business…and make business. Part of the equation therein is to make sure that you dispense with self-consciousness and learn to toot your own horn. (I’m talking to you, Young Lady…)

Joan Stewart is a nationally known maven on writing press releases -- -- so along with some of her thoughts on the subject, I’ve added my own here to help push you out onto the publicity stage.

Here are 15 topics to help give you the impetus to consider that all-important part of your marketing mix. These 15 are by no means all the subjects available to you…but they’ll do as starters.

Have a press release written when:

· You’ve formed an alliance with another company or individual
· You or your business celebrates an anniversary
· You’re appearing at an event as a speaker, host, panelist, etc.
· You’re appointed to a Board or Committee of significance
· You or your business has received an award
· You’ve authored and published a printed or online e-book
· You’ve decided to begin a blog or e-zine
· You’ve offered a class or seminar, online or offline
· You’ve done charitable work, such as with Habitat for Humanity or the Humane Society
· You’re sponsoring a contest
· You‘ve been awarded a contract by a major or industry-significant new (or existing) client
· You’re having an Open House
· You have completed academic certification in your profession
· You offer a cogent opinion on a hot topic of the day, preferably germane to your industry
· You’re offering special discounts…or value-added features to your product/service

Press releases are relatively inexpensive (all you generally pay for is the professional writing of the piece…along with, perhaps, the time to research media destinations and send it out to them along with online press release portals). Unlike a paid-for advertisement, once a release is picked up and its information runs on the printed and online page, it lends further “legitimacy” and “newsworthy-ness” to the business.

Make sure to include them on your own website as well.

(And, of course, if you’d like to consider going ahead and producing a press release…we’re “write” here for you.)

See you the first Tuesday of next month for another not-publicity-shy version of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.

Joel Kweskin
Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo