Want more brand visibility? Brand awareness? Brand recognition?
Of course you do. One of the biggest desires (and struggles) felt by brand builders is the need to create awareness among ideal customers and the people who know them. And many brand builders wait for press coverage, when they could be creating that press coverage for themselves.
Writing press releases for your brand is about being proactive. Because let’s face it: whilst you’re waiting for your story to be stumbled upon, opportunities are passing by…never to be seen again.
Let’s talk about how you can create a buzz around your brand, whilst controlling the message that consumers receive. It’s a press release, and you’re about to learn how to create a great one.
Boost Brand Visibility with a Press Release
What is a press release? It’s essentially an article written about an event and submitted to news outlets, in hopes that a journalist will pick up the story and publish it. If it’s picked up, it may be published as written. Or, the journalist may contact you to get more information to expand upon the article or rewrite it.
Here are my tips for writing press releases that follow the rules and get the attention of journalists:
- Provide a Desired Publication Date. One the first line, in all capital letters, type either “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” or “TO BE RELEASED ON…” This tells publications whether your article is an ASAP proposal, if it should be held until after an event has occurred, or if it should be published a particular amount of time before an event.
- Write a Scintillating Headline. Next, type your headline in bold (never all caps). Keep your audience in mind, as well as the types of headlines this particular publication likes to use. Make it irresistible. Make them want…or need...to read it. Expand on it with a sub-head if necessary.
- Provide Geographical Location and Date. Next, provide the location where the event will be based (or the location of your physical office), along with the date the press release was written. (e.g. LONDON, 7th April, 2017—).
- Use an Inverted Pyramid Style. An inverted pyramid style is recommended. Not sure what that is? Well, you can think of it as story-telling in reverse, with the most important details (i.e. results) first, followed by supporting facts in descending order of importance. This is how most readers prefer to absorb information from a newspaper, as they tend to skim and get most of their news from the first few paragraphs of each article.
- Write in Third-Person Point of View. I understand that you will be writing about yourself and your brand, but it’s important to write it about you—rather than coming from Remember that this will be published as written by a journalist, and so always write as if it’s coming from their keyboard, not yours.
- Include Quotes. What would you say if being interviewed by the journalist who may publish your article? Includes those words in quotes in the press release (e.g. Blindell said, “I am building the world’s most valuable brand-building resource.”).
- Provide Proof. Journalists have to be cautious about what they accept as truth, and for this reason it can help your cause if you include cited facts to support your position. Use well-known sources, and be sure to only use facts that are highly relevant to the event, product or service you’re promoting.
- Write a Bio or Company Profile as your Final Paragraph. Write this in italics so it stands out. This should be identical (or at least similar) to the ten-second pitch you’ve created for your brand (e.g. Sammy Blindell is the visionary behind How to Build a Brand, and she’s building the world’s most valuable brand-building resource for legacy creators and entrepreneurs of purpose-driven businesses.). It’s a good idea to include a link to your website, so journalists can learn more about you and/or your company.
- Provide Contact Details. Type the word Contact followed by your name. On the next few lines, provide your title, the name of your company, and your phone number and email address. This will ensure that journalists can easily contact you, should they wish to publish your article.
- Keep it Brief. I always recommend that everything be included on one page…and never more than two. Journalists (and readers) are busy people, and don’t have time for rambling prose. Get to the point, and get there with fervour.
- Hire a Proofreader. The quality of your written material provides potential customers (and news outlets) with proof of your attention to detail, your level of caring and your commitment to excellence. In many cases, your press release will be the first impression someone gets of your brand. Make it a good one. Spend a few pounds, to save your face.
If you’ve ever wondered why your competition is getting more press coverage than you are, it could be because they’re writing and sending out press releases. Now you should feel better equipped to do the same. Choose publications that show a history of covering stories like yours first…and then move on to those that may looking for something different to ‘shake it up.’ No matter where this press release exercise lands your brand, remember this: I am always available to offer assistance and to give advice. Simply contact me here, connect with me in the How to Build a Brand Facebook group, or join the Brand Builders Club.