Planning a Winning Press Release Strategy

A telephone pole with a poster that relates to a press release reads: GOOD NEWS IS COMINGA press release is a cost-effective marketing tool for various types of businesses. It is a broadcasting channel that informs the world that your company is a mover and shaker, and it has the potential to be read by millions.

Newspapers, magazines, blogs newsletters, trade publications are examples of places a press release or info from it may appear. Its return on investment could be significant.

Consumers, industry pundits, and competitors are the typical audience, but it depends on the subject, which leads into the first question that needs to be addressed in forming a press release strategy.

Who is the audience?

every press release should have a targeted audience, and its tone should be fitting to those readers. A newsworthy topic could be about a new product or service. It could also be about receiving an industry-recognized award, announcing the hiring of a key employee, or other company-related news. Striking up a partnership or obtaining a new client would be newsworthy topics worthy of a press release.

How are you going to reach your audience most effectively?

This is the point where a plan to write a press release dies because a decision has to be made on how to get people to read it.

What are the options?

Value versus costs is a huge variable to flag in the decision-making process. There are free and paid press-release distributing services that will send out a press release for customers. However, “free” means fewer services are provided. For “free,” a written press release is loaded into the vendor’s database of contacts and e-blasted. A paid press release service offers more, such as writing and editing services and, in general, a better list of contacts. It also handles all tasks.

PR and marketing companies handle the entire press release process for larger, high-end firms that outsource press release writing and distribution. While this is arguably the most effective way of doing this, it is also the most expensive route. A lack of control also could be an issue.

Make it a DIY project.

A press release can be self-distributed provided a company knows its target market and has both a list and a way of directly contacting sources, such as trade publications, magazines, bloggers, reporters, editors, TV stations, and so on, that may be interested in the release. Having a list of sources to contact would make this a DIY dream. However, that “list” doesn’t come easy. It could be a labor-intensive effort.

Purchasing a list also is an option. Buying a list saves time, but the data may not be accurate; before buying a list, inquire about its age and when it was last updated. A highly developed list of media contacts is an asset worth having. Managing a media-contact list is an ongoing project. A company’s market share and reputation could be bolstered from using it correctly.

Make plans based on value propositions.

Knowing what you want is better than being told what you need. Planning is required to determine which route would work best. There are no patented right or wrong ways, and it is possible as well to begin in one direction and ultimately do things completely differently. Begin with the basics.

Who is your audience?

Why are you writing a press release?

Where do you want the press release to be placed?

How often are you going to write press releases?

Answering these questions will help you plan your strategy.

Why Facebook Marketing to Your Friends Doesn’t Work

Facebook marketing - Cell phone with Facebook logo on with words Social Media in Scrabble-like lettersWhile Facebook is a great place for businesses to get noticed and build a following,  there also is great potential to alienate people and destroy potential opportunities through poor Facebook marketing practices.  This is especially true if you have a small business, and all of your posts are (1) posted from your personal page, not your business page and (2) are all about selling products or services.  Facebook is a social media platform, not a selling forum.

What kind of a friend are you, anyway?

Is it really necessary to say insincere? Any friend who is always trying to sell you something isn’t being very friendly. Friends share experiences with one another online and offline. They support each other, genuinely care, and enjoy keeping in touch. Generally, they do not seek to make money off each other.  In other words, they are not as annoying as an unexpected door-to-door salesperson or a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses ringing the doorbell.

Think about it. If you would not do something in a real-life community, why would you think that it would be okay to do it online in a virtual community? A friend by name but a troll by deed is a friend or follower that nobody needs to have, online or offline.

What prompts a business owner to misuse Facebook marketing for gaudy self-promotion?

Many times, it is probably the result of misdirected excitement and enthusiasm. People are always posting jokes and memes and talking about personal experiences. So, it is understandable that a friend may want to make a post about a business endeavor. However, when that one post morphs into three to five additional posts, essentially saying the same thing (“Buy something from me!”) every day, it can be a real relationship-changer.

While many people love to talk and shop, they are loathsome to being sold stuff, especially from someone they assumed was their friend.

It’s narrow-minded thinking, too!

If you are trying to build a business off of your friends, your potential market will be seriously limited. Facebook only allows a personal account to have 5,000 friends. So, even if you have 5,000 friends on Facebook, your reach is limited to those 5,000 people, plus the folks your friends tell about your annoying posts. Let’s be realistic: How many of your friends even need your product or service (especially in the B2B sector)? Instead of expanding your reach, by Facebook marketing to your friends, you are debasing your professionalism.

So, what’s the right way to market a business on Facebook?

The first step would be to start a business page and put all of those “salesy” business posts there instead of on your personal page. Posting from a business page will take the stigma out of promo posts by putting the content in the right place. However, there is no guarantee those posts will result in any sales, either.

Posting on Facebook, and the other social networks as well, is good for SEO and reputation management purposes, but it may not be the place for a B2B enterprise to attract prospective customers.

In Facebook marketing, there is no free lunch.

Nothing worthwhile is free … and that is particularly true when it comes to Facebook marketing, or any type of marketing or advertising. If you are a retailer selling to consumers, Facebook could be a gold mine, but you are still going to have to pay for it.