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How To Write A Press Release

PR is an excellent way to get the word out about your business – if you know how to do it.

In principle it sounds simple: you write a press release and send it to your local newspaper. But what do you say? And what should you not say? If you’re not ready to hire a PR agency yet, here’s our guide to writing press releases yourself.

The Golden Rule: The Media Deal In Stories

In print media, advertising is paid for but stories are published for free. Stories are what the media deal in. And if you give them a good story, they WILL mention you. If you give them lots of good stories, they’ll make you are famous as you want to be.

What’s A Good Story?

It helps to think in terms of headlines alone. Because a good story can be told in one line. The article just elaborates on the headline by adding detail.

Types of Stories

There are several ‘types’ of stories you can write. What follows is not an exhaustive list, but it does cover many of the most common story types.

Announcements – these will generally fail to get much coverage unless you already have some degree of ‘fame’ in the region covered by the media outlet.

Questioning the future – a great way to create a story about a new upcoming product, business or brand is to ask a question and start a conversation about it.

e.g. “Could local author Jack Dorkins be the next Stephen King?”

The article would then talk about Jack Dorkins’ new novel and how it’s selling really well.

Trend Narrative – observations on new trends in your industry or area of expertise.

e.g. “Personal grooming takes 45% dive during lockdown”

Insider Secrets – share specialist knowledge from within your industry.

e.g. “3 Ways To Prepare Your Car For Winter”

Do you see how you might consider that to be quite a boring topic, and yet it’s still something that’s valuable to millions of people.

Formatting Your Press Release

Press releases have changed over the years. Now, you’re probably just going to e-mail them.

Subject line: PRESS RELEASE: “HEADLINE HERE”

First paragraph tells the story.

Add a quote

Second paragraph elaborates.

Add a quote.

For more information or to book an interview, call [contact name] on [contact number].

###

Using PR to market your business is a long term, ongoing strategy. To benefit from having a place in the minds of your market, you need to send press releases regularly. And each press release should be tailored specifically to the media outlet it is aimed at. Spray and pray generally doesn’t work.

If you’re really serious about creating a public profile for your business, brand or product, talk to us today. We’d be happy to help.

Why You Need A Website

In the 21st century, as a rule of thumb, you need a web presence no matter what you do, if you provide either products or services to others. And part of that web presence is likely to be a website.

Your website is today, what your shop front was in years gone by. It is a marketing material that acts as an elaboration of your branding to tell people who you are and what you do and specifically how you can help them.

Your website may also allow people to buy from you right there on the website, or it might be used to schedule consultations with people as the first step of a longer and more intimate sales process.

There are very few business activities nowadays that would not benefit in some way from having a website.

Should I Aim To Sell More Units Or Raise My Prices?

One of the most fundamental ways that entrepreneurs go wrong is when they try to increase their sales volume instead of their margin, and vice versa.

The first thing you have to know when you start a new business is what kind of business you’re in: is it a margin business or a volume business? Everything is either one or the other.

As a rule of thumb, if it is not a mass market product, then you’re going for margin. If it IS a mass market product, you can go for volume.

Let’s have an example:

A burger. There’s a limit to how much you can reasonably charge for a burger. I think even on the high end, I’ve never seen a burger selling for more than £10. And on the low end, quite famously, 99p.

McDonalds is in the volume business. They know that their product is a widely affordable. And they know the key to making more money is to sell more burgers. That’s why they have outlets in nearly every country in the world and boast that they serve 1 million people daily. It’s a volume game. And they’ve become masters of it.

The £10 GBK burger is in a different market. While it’s still very much about volume, there’s a much higher margin on that burger so they can afford to sell fewer of them. It’s aiming at a different demographic of customer.

Let’s have another example:

Wedding magician. One of my former occupations. There are a couple of special things about wedding magic. First and foremost it depends on me. I am the magician. As such, I cannot scale that. There’s only one of me. So I am 100% in the margin game.

I have to aim to sell my services at higher prices and in order to make a bigger margin.

Even if I lower my prices and book my whole calendar up (not easy), I’ll still have an income limit and I’ll be exhausted. Not worth it.

So figure out what suits you and what suits your product.

Our copywriting services may be of interest to you.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Smart & Slick was founded to help make dreams come true. As such, our blog is not only about business and entrepreneurship, but about life. Because all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Who’s Jack? I don’t know. It’s something my mum used to say.

I digress.

In this section of the blog, we talk about things to do for fun, to unwind. You have to spend your money on something, right? Otherwise what’s the point?

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