Did you ever wonder why some local companies are routinely mentioned in the news and others companies have never seen their business name in the trusted old black and white columns of the News & Observer? The main reason smart Fuquay-Varina businesses land positive media coverage in the newspaper is simply because they took a few minutes to send a press release to their local paper.
While I could write pages upon pages of detailed instruction on the topic of how to write a successful press release –including effective headline techniques, Associated Press style preferences and paragraph structuring—let’s face it you are busy running a business and I would bore you to death after reading a page or two of public relations theory and application. So, I have decided to make this article simple and to the point. But I promise if you take a few minutes to follow the below listed steps—you will garnish some free publicity for your company, and who knows maybe even see your brand’s “name in lights”.
Step #1 – Determine what is newsworthy?
Identify opportunities to send an announcement. Here are a few examples that qualify:
- hiring a new employee
- hosting a community event
- being named to a community board
- getting a new contract or piece of business
- winning an award
- opening a new office
Step #2 – Who to reach at N&O?
Knowing the appropriate person at the News & Observer to notify about your announcement and their contact information is essentially important. So, if you are still reading this article—I am about to let you in on a little Public Relations secret—all of the above mentioned business announcements can be sent to the same reporter. At the News & Observer a single reporter covers all of the above listed topics—the reporter’s name is Amy Rue and her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step #3 – What to put in your press release?
Now that you know what everyday topics are eligible for media consideration and the appropriate reporter to contact—the next step is knowing what information to send to the media. In the infamous words of the legendary television detective Joe Friday staring in Dragnet— a media announcement should include–“Just the Facts Mam.” Meaning a media announcement should be short, sweet and to the point. Simply cover the following questions routinely asked by seasoned detectives like Joe Friday. Questions like—Who, What, When, Where and Why. And always include your contact information in the body of the email you are sending to the reporter. Also, keep in mind that the News & Observer receives a lot of these types of announcements—so it may take a few weeks for your company to appear in the paper.
Additional Press Release Resources
If you want to dig a little further into what makes some press releases stand out above others, you can check these online articles.
- 4 Steps to a Memorable Press Release
- How to Write a Press Release with Free Template
- How to Write a Press Release that Gets Noticed
Now, best of luck as you begin your new hobby as a public relations practitioner! And on behalf of the Chamber’s Marketing Committee, I want to congratulate you on taking the initiative to get your company published in the newspaper. We will all look forward to seeing more Fuquay-Varina based businesses in the trusted old black and white columns of the News & Observer newspaper.
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