Posted by : Amanda Stein Wednesday, January 29, 2014

by Mickie E Kennedy

Think press releases are just a thing of the past? While you may think of an old-timey newspaper reporter smoking a cigar and listening to Billie Holiday while they lay out pages for the evening when someone mentions press releases, the fact is they are still a very viable way of getting your company noticed.

But how can a small business like yours take advantage of press releases in today’s digital world? Here are a few ways you can stretch the use of your releases and get a surprising amount of mileage out of them.

Remember Newspapers Have Websites

The biggest business in the world down to the smallest Mom & Pop store has a website these days. The same goes for newspapers, magazines, and other publications – almost every single one has a website or some other type of web presence like Facebook or Twitter.

So if you think your press release will just get printed in the physical newspaper so your Great Uncle Leroy and his friends will read it and that’s it, think again! Providing you write a great enough press release to get picked up, the story could run not only in the paper but on their website and blog.

This means someone in London, Tokyo or Cairo can see the smallest story in the tiniest paper in the smallest town in the continental United States. Press releases have more reach than ever before, and your business should be taking advantage of this.

Building Credibility

Talk is cheap. Anybody can put up a blog post or Tweet saying that they’re the #1 seller of hot dogs in the great state of Illinois. But an article published in a local newspaper or a video clip on the evening news lends credibility to that claim.  Customers are still looking for social proof that you are who you say you are, so let the media do the talking.

Speaking of credibility, we already mentioned that public relations efforts can lead to stories about your company on websites. This, in turn, leads to search engine optimization for your website, which makes you easier for your customers to find. If customers are looking for that perfect hot dog, they’re more likely to find you over your competitors if you’ve been written up in the local gazette.

Email Marketing/Social Media

Another idea for repurposing your press release (either used or unused by media) is to use it for your email marketing or on your Facebook page. Again, the info you wrote about on your press release was interesting enough for reaching out to the media – why not reach a different audience who enjoys less “traditional” media?

For instance if your release was about how you just brought on a former Amazon exec as CEO, your email and social media fans want to know about this. Use this opportunity to expand on this by talking about his or her accomplishments and what they will bring to your company. This way readers get an even fuller view of what this could mean for your business and for them personally as they buy items from you.

When was the last time you issued a press release?

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By Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases the online leader in affordable PR distribution since 1998. 

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