Eliminate me for beginning with a not-very-clever rewording of an old saying, but today “almost all news is good news” when you are trying to generate visibility for your company or organization. I will tell you how to create valuable news releases from information that you might not think has value and get it published. simple newz
What do i mean by “almost all news is good news”? That just about any news can be become content for online and traditional publications, gaining valuable visibility for your business or organization.
Traditional news releases — or pr announcements as they used to be called back when real clicks were employed by real news organizations to print news — had to compete for limited space on a printed page. Typically, that limited newsworthiness to stories about new products, new technologies, or major organizational news.
Today, however, the concept of “news” has changed dramatically. Publishing space is virtually unlimited and publishers eager for content. The lines have blurred between so-called “real” news organizations such as newspapers, magazines, and broadcast news outlets and “new media” such as online citizen-journalism sites, blogs, e-letters, and news aggregator services. Today, many of the tripping blocks have faded that were once between people generating news and the outlets that published it. It’s easier than in the past now to get your news published in a number of places. The secret is writing something which will be of enough interest for anyone to pick it up and publish it.
Selecting a topic
There are more things to write a news release about than you may think, beginning with the obvious: a new service or product, openings and closings, restructurings (partnerships, mergers and acquisitions), and employee/staff news. These topics generally may very well be “hard” news and worthy of broad distribution, when possible.
A large host of other topics, however, that many people do not think to promote with a news release, but that produce ideal “soft” news releases. These topics include trade show and conference appearances, awards, business anniversaries, new client wins, capital equipment purchases, and new capabilities. While a business publication publisher may consider these topics too self-serving to assure publication, it is possible to good reasons to write a release with them, as you will shortly see.
Creating your own news.
Do not think you have enough news, hard or soft, to write about? Then think about creating your own news. Create a simple industry or customer survey, publish the results on your website, and write a news release about it.
Write a written report. Interview key personnel in your organization and your industry trade association about your market or industry and publish their information. Then write a release about the key findings, asserting the accessibility to the report for download on your website. With a little thought, you should be able to come up with several ways to create your own news.
Writing a news release
Now you need to write about your topic. Remember that this is news, not advertising, and an publisher is going to judge whether it’s worth publishing. Avoid vocabulary and using phrases such as “industry leading”, “number one”, “unique”, and any other terms that slap of self-serving advertising.
Lead with all the important info in the first part, beginning with the topic, the company, and why your news is important. Traditionally, this is known as the “five W’s and the H” — who, what, where, when, why, and how. Keep sentences simple and sentences short.
Add the details to the middle portion, or body, of your release and finish with what’s called the “boilerplate” — the standard information about your company or organization, including basic description, locations, and web site. If your company is big enough it can even include the number of employees, additional information, and stock ticker symbol whether it’s freely traded in.
Distributing a news release
Here comes the fun part — getting the word out so the right people find it. If your market is reasonably small, you could possibly put together your own distribution list based on trade publications and industry organizations (here’s a tip for finding the right people on their websites: routine down to the Contact us section, normally a button in the footer at the very bottom of the page — key personnel and their email addresses are often listed there). It takes a little legwork, but it’s worth it because you will have a succinct, up-to-date list of precisely the people you need to reach. Just remember to update it periodically.