The good old press release is far less effective than it used to be.  Editors have access to massive amounts of information and are no longer reliant on what their reporters dig up and what businesses send in.  A couple of clicks and they can get gobs of information through their chosen search engine.

From a business owner’s perspective generating an interesting press release regularly is challenging.  Very few businesses have many real news stories and are resorting to:

  • A new member of staff (who is interested, besides the family of the new team member?)
  • A special offer (editors just see this as a sales pitch and hit ‘delete’)
  • A bigger and better office (only interesting to people who work there or need to visit for some reason)
  • Launch of a new product (unless it’s really ground breaking, editors will see this as a sales pitch too)
  • New client (apart from you and the client, most people won’t be interested)

A blanket press release isn’t very effective.

The way to go is bespoke

You’ll get much further by selecting a handful of publications that you know your target audience read and getting to know what kind of material these journals or magazines publish.

If you actually talk to the editors about what they would find useful/valuable, you’ll get a lot further.  Typically, you can then suggest some titles for articles that would fit into the kind of article they publish.  Then you can write it knowing that it’s already got the seal of approval.

What kind of articles might work?

  • Thought leader articles where you explore your take on an area where you’re an expert.
  • How to articles, where you explain something and share the steps to success.
  • A profile: Your journey to success, how you overcame setbacks and what gave you that vital boost
  • Q&A: a series of questions that you answer.  Some publications have a format for this or get someone else to generate the questions that would make an interesting article.
  • Hot topics: things that are in the news or are making waves (as long as you have relevant knowledge/expertise)

Don’t waste your efforts on a ‘one-size fits all’ approach, create dedicated articles for specific publications and you’ll get a lot further.