Guest post by Alice Koval.
Many marketing and business executives believe that the press release has become an outdated promotion tool. That’s not really true. Press releases (or better, news releases) are still used in B2B and can produce meaningful results if produced and distributed properly.
You should keep in mind that a good press release requires interesting and unique information; it should include facts and be objective. So before you start writing your next press release, keep in mind the following questions to make it more effective.
What’s your target group?
Visualize who could be interested in your topic and why. When you write a press release, try to point out the key moments for particular business clients. Let them know what benefits they may get.
How popular is your company?
Is your brand widely known, or a small startup with few clients?
What does your marketing department do to expand your brand?
This activity impacts the answer to the question above. How active and effective is your team in terms of content marketing, social presence, influencer outreach, and media relations?
What’s your geo-targeting?
When you select a topic for your press release, make sure it will be helpful for people from a particular area. Paying for distribution that’s too broad is a waste of resources.
How influential is your company?
If you’re not a top-tier brand like Apple or Microsoft, carefully consider the newsworthiness of your company for journalists, bloggers and other influencers in your sphere. Be prepared to explain why your story matters, and have a compelling angle.
With these questions answered, you’re ready to craft the story for your press release.
While the ideas below work particularly well for small-to-midsized B2B technology companies, most apply equally well to other type of firms. Here are common press release topics that can help attract both news coverage and new customers.
Promotion, giveaway or contest
Promotions, contests, and giveaways or lotteries can be good ways to spread your brand name. You may publish monthly contests on your social media channels or follow the example of Freemake.com. In 2015, they spread a press release offering free business license for their Freemake Video Converter to schools and universities. As a result, they got new clients and provided newsworthy support for education.
A new sale or a long-term agreement
If signed a contract with a widely known company and now develop software for them, don’t lose the chance to tell people about it. Publish a press release on your site, share it on your social media accounts, and of course send it to your clients, journalists, and new potential partners. For instance, recently Microsoft announced a new patent licensing agreement with GoPro Inc. and, of course, published a press release with this information on the website.
Anniversary of the founding date
If you are planning to organize an online or offline event celebrating the anniversary of your company, notify your partners about it. Reiterate your company’s major achievements, significant milestones, noteworthy collaborations, team members, loyal clients, and so on.
If you are changing your brand name, logo, or possibly even strategic direction, let people know about it. Explain in detail what you are planning to do now to attract possible customers.
New product release
Whenever you are about to release a new product, or a significantly updated version of an existing product, prepare a detailed press release describing all the main features. If practical, provide journalists and bloggers with a trial version of your new product together with the press release. You can quote their reviews (and possibly even make critical last-minute changes) before the product ships.
Pricing and policy changes
A new study of your own
An infographic with new and interesting research is a great reason to create a press release. Often bloggers willingly, even eagerly, publish content of this kind. Just don’t forget to make your infographic helpful, easy readable and well-designed.
If your team has invented a completely new way to solve some known issue and you are ready to share it with the world, write a press release about it. Provide a brief description of the problem and a detailed solution. New solutions are excellent for catching the attention of industry influencers and journalists.
Announce a public appearance
Whenever you are speaking at a conference, meeting, appearing on TV, or organizing an open house, send out a press release with the exact date, time and place. For an open house, provide a description and a plan of the event. If possible, create a SlideShare presentation or a video for your upcoming event. See the example of Adobe Summit here.
New awards won
Share your achievements with your partners, customers, and prospective buyers. Describe the competition you took part in and the award you received. It might help you win more business.
Keep in mind that a press release can be helpful even if—perhaps especially if–your company is not widely known. Don’t miss a chance to promote your company. Create and send out a press release when you have something newsworthy to say and share. And maximize the impact of your announcement by using expert social PR techniques.
Alice Koval is a marketing consultant and freelance blogger. She is proud to share her expertise on digital trends, software promotion and marketing basics. Follow Alice on Twitter.