If you’re wondering how to write a press release for your small business, in this video, I’m going to show you a quicker and more effective way to earn coverage for your small business.
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Hi! I’m Christina Nicholson and I have helped businesses all over the world earn media exposure so they can reach more people, spend way less money, and make a bigger impact.
How to Write a Press Release for Your Small Business
Earned media is the way to do this and for some reason, everybody’s go-to is writing press releases. That used to work. It doesn’t work the way you think it does anymore.
The industry has changed and so has writing press releases.
STOP Writing Press Releases for Your Small Business. This is Why.
First, let me put this into perspective.
I was recently watching the Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix and all of these murders were happening in the 70s and they were talking about how the police jurisdictions couldn’t communicate with each other because they only had fax machines and rotary phones.
And then they did an interview with a police chief and the police chief said to let everybody know what was going on they would send out a press release.
Y’all, this was in the 70s! At the time of this taping, it is May of 2019 so if you think the media industry works the same way today as it did in the 70s then you are in for a rude awakening.
So I hope that puts it into perspective that just because a press release used to be the go-to in the 70s, doesn’t mean it still is now.
How Newsrooms Really Feel About Your Press Releases
Today, assignment desks and journalists are getting hundreds and hundreds of emails a day.
I just spoke with an anchor of a show on HLN and she said that her inbox and her producer’s inbox – they get about 20,000 to 40,000 emails a day.
Let me tell you, the last thing they want to read is a press release because this is what they look like. They’re boring, they’re long, and they’re overly promotional.
Those are three things that somebody can almost guarantee before they click on that link and open up your press release to read it. It’s why most people just aren’t interested anymore. They don’t have time for it.
Now, before I get into what to write, instead of a press release, I want you to commit to something. I want you to commit to not writing press releases. So in the comments section of this video on Youtube, please write “no more press releases”.
Commit… and this is good news. Like I said, press releases – they’re long, they’re boring, they’re overly promotional. This isn’t just going to save you time, but it’s actually going to increase your chances of earning media coverage.
Okay, so what do you do instead? Well, instead you write a short and sweet pitch.
How do you do this?
1. Why should the journalist and his or her audience care?
Again, this is where people make a big mistake and they get overly promotional. It’s not about you. It’s about the audience of the podcast, of the TV show, of the newspaper, of the magazine, whoever you’re pitching.
Why should their audience care about what you’re pitching?
2. Why should they do this story?
Now, your pitch has to have a timely angle to it. Almost everything we get our clients is because it has to be done at that time. You can do this a couple of ways.
You can focus on a specific date.
For example, I just got one of my local restaurant clients a feature in Forbes magazine. Why? Because that writer was doing a roundup on Cinco de Mayo. If that story wasn’t done at that time, we’d have to wait a whole other year to get that kind of coverage.
Besides focusing on those days, another way to make your pitch timely is to focus on what’s already happening in the news. What’s already newsworthy and how can you relate your brand, your service, your product, or your expertise to what is already happening in the news?
One of my media mentoring clients named Aviva works with parents and students on getting them accepted into Ivy League schools. She’s gotten tons of media coverage lending her expertise to the college admissions scandal. It’s making big national news and she has an angle that’s different from some other people. People are going to cover it. They’re always looking for new angles and Aviva is there to help them.
3. How will it educate and entertain them?
You have to be educational and entertaining at the same time. People go online, they turn the TV on, they pick up a newspaper because they want to learn something. So you have to tell them something that they don’t already know.
And today, you also have to educate them because we are constantly surrounded by so many things in so many places. If you don’t keep my attention for longer than five seconds, then you’re gone and it’s onto the next. So make sure you’re educating people while being entertaining.
4. Why are you the expert for this story?
A lot of people start out with this in their pitch. You need to put this towards the bottom because I don’t care about your expertise if your story is not exciting to me. So tease me on the story first and then tell me why you’re the person to go to.
Why are you an expert? Why should we talk to you as a source in the media instead of anybody else?
5. How can you be contacted?
This is a pretty important part. I suggest leaving your email address and your phone number.
Make it super easy for a journalist to get back to you and let me tell you, they may get back to you pretty quickly. And as soon as they get back to you, you need to be ready to go.
I remember when I would get pitched when I was in TV and I would call somebody and they’ll say, “oh yeah, we’ll have that ready in a few days”. And I’m like, “no, no, no, no, no. I came in this morning at nine I need to have a story for the air at five o’clock if you’re going to pitch me today, you need to be ready to go today”, so make sure you share your contact information and you are ready to move when they contact you.
I’ve got into this and a whole lot more, way more specifics, than I did in this short little video in my three-day video media class. It’s called Pitch, Publicity, Profit.
On day one I teach you how to pitch the media and I actually share a pitch that landed one of my clients live TV coverage in San Diego. You will get that pitch word for word on day one.
Day two I teach you how to nail that publicity.
And on day three we turn that publicity into profit. This is something that a lot of people forget to do and you should not. It’s the reason for earning the publicity, so make sure you stick around until day three.
You can get access to that free video and media class at PitchPublicityProfit.com.
And please don’t forget to type “no more press releases” in the comments. I want you to commit to this right now in the comments section. “No more press releases.”
If you like this video, please let me know. Give it a like a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel so you can see more videos and more tips like this every Thursday.