Publicity is the most cost-effective marketing tool there is and it’s the only part of a communications strategy that builds credibility. It takes effective media relations material to draw out the news angle and create an objective communications strategy that will help accomplish your promotional goals.
I am often asked by clients what makes a good news story and when it makes good business sense to issue a media release. A media release should accompany virtually every effort to generate publicity. But there is a fine line. I’ve seen some pretty big stretches over the years in terms of what an organization deems as newsworthy. You want your release to promote and publicize your organization, yet a release that sounds like a blatant sales pitch will have editors reaching for the “delete” key.
If your business has a unique story to tell, ensure that it communicates the right message to the right audience. Content for a media release can vary from product, staff or special event announcements to ongoing product marketing. Community or market surveys provide good content for press releases, as do reports from conventions or professional meetings. And let’s not forget human-interest items for local media.
A release with content that is newsworthy in style is more likely to get media attention rather than simply a promotion of your product of service. I have outlined 10 questions that organizations can ask themselves to gauge the potential of a media campaign.
1. Are you starting a new business or are you introducing a new product / service into the marketplace?
2. Has your company reached a major milestone?
3. Have you recently had a corporate restructure or expansion?
4. Do you have industry leading news and want to make a statement of position regarding a local, regional or national issue?
5. Are you forming a new strategic partnership or alliance or recently had a merger or acquisition?
6. Has your business moved into a leadership position within your industry?
7. Have you obtained a new or significant customer by winning a high profiled client account or contract?
8. Has your organization recently met some kind of unusual challenge or risen above adversity?
9. Has an individual in your business has been named to serve in a leadership position in a community, professional or charitable organization?
10. Is a representative from your company making a public appearance, sponsoring a workshop, seminar, or conference?
If you can honestly say that the answer to any of the above would be of interest to the public or a targeted community, then I would suggest you may have something newsworthy. If you are stretching for answers, then I would recommend re-visiting your media strategy. Remember, building credibility with the media is just as important as creating it for your company. One can rarely exist without the other.