Understanding the purpose of a press release and why it is an effective marketing instrument can give you a distinct edge over your competition and provide great public exposure. There are a multitude of avenues to attract favorable media attention, and a press release is a direct way to gain that needed publicity for your announcement.
A press release is a written communication directed at the media for the purpose of announcing something considered to be newsworthy. This communication serves as an organization’s response to a current development, whether positive or negative, they are introducing or addressing.
History accounts that the first modern press release was produced by Ivy Lee, one of the earliest public relations practitioners. At the time of the 1906 Atlantic City train wreck, which took the lives of over 50 people, the Pennsylvania Railroad was a client of Lee’s firm.
To prevent inaccurate versions of the story from being spread throughout the media, Lee convinced the railroad to issue a statement about what had transpired. He used this statement, in addition to inviting journalists and photographers to the scene, as a means of promoting open communication with the media and setting the standard for what is now known as a press release.
The purpose of a press release is to provide journalists with the basic information they need to develop a news story in hopes of attracting favorable attention from the public. Press releases can announce a range of newsworthy developments such as:
Building credibility is also a major factor when writing a press release. An unbiased, facts-driven release is the key to gaining credibility. Remember: where there’s media, there’s always someone behind the scenes checking the validity of received information. You can completely lose credibility for yourself or your organization by presenting false information to the media.
A press release is a good opportunity to help ensure that information about a product, dates and times of an event, a quoted statement or an unforeseen misfortune are shared correctly with the public.
The press release must be factual, accurate and brief; no longer that one page. Double-check your spelling, grammar and sentence structure to make the article easy for journalists to read and is the clearest layout of information. Try to write the press release with an impartial interpretation of the information.
Always start your press release with the most important facts. These generally answer the basic questions of who, what, where, when and why. Make sure that your writing presents the topic in a favorable light and builds credibility and trust among your audience.
An independent broker-dealer focused on providing resources advisors need to succeed, NEXT is here to help you grow. Contact NEXT’s Marketing Department to get started on your free press release today. Our trained staff of writers will help you develop a newsworthy piece, send it through Compliance on your behalf and then pitch it out to your local media outlets.
For more information on what you can do with your press release to take full advantage of its marketability, download our white paper, “How to Get the Most of Your Press Release.”