The humble press release is the foundation of a PR campaign and remains the best way to engage journalists in your business.

While the articles and features they publish might add a bit of flare and the occasional adjective, the press release is the backbone to the finished piece.

In comparison, the copy for your website might entice a customer in and sell the experience of your product, a press release is a straight to the point story that tells a journalist everything they need to know in as few words as possible and highlights your key message(s).

It outlines who you are, what you do, where you're based and most importantly, why they should report on you.

Whether you're hoping for a feature in a national magazine, a segment on the regional evening news or a NIB (news in brief) in the local press, it will all stem from a well-written press release.

Professional PRs will work with you to write a press release that will answer all of the above, plus engage with journalists directly to "sell-in" a story and create an angle that works for you and them. In other words, PRs have two 'clients' to cater to - the paying client and the journalist. And just like your business, each journalist is different and has their own style.

To accompany a press release you will need great photography and I would always recommend working with a PR to find a photographer with press experience because, believe it or not, there's a huge difference between the images you send in a press release to those you would put on a platform such as Instagram as part of your wider PR campaign.

Press release ideas include:

  • New product launch/opening/team member
  • Anniversary
  • Award win
  • The way your business has benefitted others
  • Gift guide
  • Fundraising
  • Seasonal
  • Working together
  • Case study
  • Something that makes your business/product stand-out above the rest
  • Your opinion on a national story

Plus much more...

For product launches, it's always worth putting some budget aside for reviews, so that you can back-up your release by sending out examples or offering review opportunities to journalists.

The other option is to organise a product launch and press call, which we'll discuss next time...