In the digital age, businesses are able to announce news regarding products and services instantaneously through social media outlets and on official websites. It only takes a few moments to send out a Tweet or email blast, and updating a status on a Facebook company page or editing a website homepage takes mere minutes. So with access to all these instant forms of communication, are press releases still relevant?
If you are visiting this blog, you already know the answer to that question. Press releases are an imperative tool for businesses because they provide services lacking in other communication forums. Whether you are a die-hard fan of press releases, or just beginning to experiment with them, it is important to know why they are so invaluable to communication. Here are just a few reasons to form a strong press release strategy:
- Formality. A press release is a formatted, planned business document that was not written in a matter of minutes, or shot off with a few clicks of a mouse. Press releases are organized, reader-friendly and do not leave out any pertinent details. As the name implies, press releases are drafted with the media in mind, but with the wide range of online outlets that house the releases, more and more customers are also seeing them. Press releases are proofread for accuracy and to spot errors. When an individual reads this type of communication, he trusts what it says. Though it is perfectly acceptable for businesses to speak casually with the media and their customer base through social networks, email and even text messaging, customers still respect a serious approach at capturing their attention. Local businesses would be served well to take a few extra minutes to consider the formality of their communications, particularly when reaching a broader audience.
- Contact information. Part of the press release formula includes clear contact information for a company. Depending on the size of the business, the contact person may be a press liaison or a company CEO. The company website and even physical address is also often listed. This makes it really easy for members of the press to follow up on business news stories, but also provides a great point of reference for the average consumer. The reader does not have to go looking for contact information because it is plainly displayed in the release.
- Relevancy. In contrast to an online update, or even an attention-grabbing email, a press release puts all of the information into context. It starts with a snappy headline and just like a good news story, has a catchy lead paragraph. The reader is given more than a synopsis, however. As the release continues, more information about the company as a whole is written in, along with quotes from business leaders. A person that reads a well-written press release should come away with a broad idea of what the business represents and does on a daily basis.
A well-timed press release can bring attention to a company based on its own happenings or broader news items. While social media platforms and other mass communication tactics like text messaging have their place in contemporary marketing, there is no replacement for a strong press release. Keep this in mind when you spend the time and resources on a press release campaign.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com works with more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. Visit www.chamberofcommerce.com to find your local chamber of commerce.