Improve your Public Relations approach by learning what to know when creating a press release.
What is a press release and why would you need one?
A press release is a concise, formatted document, written in such a way that it can be distributed for marketing and promotional purposes. Press releases are a tool used to highlight an event, corporate milestone, or to profile an achievement or success. Ultimately the purpose of a media release is to pass your content to media outlets in a format that will allow them to efficiently and effectively cover your story. Traditional and social media coverage are standard and proven tactics for promoting a company, product or event. Traditional and social media coverage often results in additional commentary on blogs, industry websites and other online platforms.
The Importance of Public Relations for Your Institution
When handling Public Relations and writing a press release for your institution, there are numerous important aspects to consider. First, you need to identify and acknowledge that you have two distinct target audiences. The first audience is composed of individuals with little or no knowledge of the industry but are curious and interested in learning more. The second target audience you must consider are those who are deeply entrenched in the industry and who know the ins and outs. Recognizing your two distinct target audiences will allow you to ensure a balance and impactful approach is being undertaken. As a company and as a brand you will need to strategically develop a thoughtful approach to public relations. Are you aiming to educate the masses, clearing up any misconceptions around the industry or are you aiming to connect with existing thought leaders? Your press release must ultimately speak to your target audience and align with your corporate goals and strategy.
Once you understand which audience you want to reach, you will then be able to determine what publications to pitch your press release to. Are you aiming for stakeholders to take notice of your institution’s announcement? Or are you looking to educate and inform a more general or public audience? The people that you are trying to reach, all read different publications and get their information from varying sources. It is important to do your research to find out where your audience is going to obtain their information and which sources to reach out to with your press release.
Combing Your Public Relations and Media Relations Strategy
In fact, integrating your public relations strategy along with your media relations strategy will ensure that you are reaching the right audiences with the right messaging through the right mediums. This way you are saving time during the research process and you can spend more time getting your information out to the right sources. By having press releases included as a priority in your broader public relations strategy, you will be better prepared for media follow ups and critiques. When writing your press release, always be prepared with a question and answer or key message document. What is the first question the media is going to ask when they read this document? Do you have the answers to these questions? Are you prepared to speak to the details? If the answer is no, you should rethink the timing of this release.
There are also technical components to think about too. How will you distribute your press releases? If you’re using a wire service will you distribute nationally or to specialized influencer lists? Are you publicly traded or have aspirational plans to be? Then you need to ensure your press releases include certain details. Finally, what media personalities and publications are your goal? Do you know how to reach them and follow-up effectively?
We often hear that traditional media is dead, but the truth is, media coverage remains one of the most impactful free promotional tools we have in our toolbox. Traditional media feeds social media and, depending on what media outlets you target, can be a deeply impactful tool for reaching desired target audiences. But it all begins with a thoughtful and targeted press release from you!
CIPR Communications Provides Public Relations and Media Relations Services for a variety of Institutions.
Don’t know where to begin? Let us help. We can create a Public Relations strategy with you that ensures your brand gets noticed and that your coverage is leveraged across all your communications platforms. Book an intro call with Peter and let’s get started.