A Case for the Press Release: A Powerful Marketing Tool
Press Releases Are Boring Yet Fantastic Tools
When was the last time you saw a press release? Did you even read it? Probably not—the general population doesn’t usually read them because they’re not meant for the general public.
Of course they’re boring to your average reader. Press releases are meant to give news reporters & journalists information to write stories on. They’re the ones who turn that information into something interesting.
But since your average small & medium business owner doesn't usually read press releases, they can forget all about them. This means they’re missing out on a valuable marketing tool.
Here’s an example of a press release; this is what we issued for our company’s rebrand.
The Value of Press Releases for SMBs
Press Releases Increase Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is a vital marketing activity for businesses. If people in your city aren’t aware your brand exists, how will they become a customer?
There are many ways for SMBs to build brand awareness; getting stories on local news sites is one way. By writing press releases and sending them to local news outlets, you’re creating an opportunity for them to write an article about your news and share it with the city. This gets your business in front of more eyes and in more conversations.
Without the press release, you’ll be relying on your current methods of sharing news, which are often just social media and perhaps a newsletter. But for the most part, this will only get the news out to people who already follow you on social media or who are already subscribed to your newsletter. Which brings us to our next point.
Press Releases Reach New Audiences
In addition to increasing brand awareness for people in your current audience, an article about your business can also reach a new audience.
You choose who you send your press release to, so you can choose to send it to publications comprised of people outside your current audience. If you’re not sure what type of audience follows each media outlet, reach out to their reps and ask.
Press Releases Build Credibility and Authority
When people see an article written about your business on a news site, it changes their perception of your business. It puts you in a place of higher authority; it says you’re a business worth talking about.
This is especially useful for those small businesses who are constantly trying to make a name for themselves. Go ahead, picture your business in the title of a news article. It looks good.
Press Releases Improve SEO
This benefit is less well-known, but worth considering. Here’s how it works.
When a news site writes about your business, they may include a link in the article that directs people to your website. This is called a backlink.
Backlinks are great for your website’s search engine rankings. In short, they tell Google that your site is trustworthy, so Google shows your site higher in search results. It’s just one part of search engine optimization (SEO), but an important one. The more (valuable) backlinks you can build, the better.
Press Releases Let You Stay Humble
When your business has news to share but it feels a little too braggy to write about on social media, a press release is a great replacement.
Take a large donation, for example. Many business owners have a deep and genuine desire to make their community a better place. Their donations are not done as a corporate stunt, but telling everyone about them can make it seem that way. Still, it’s OK to be recognized for the gift—especially if it aligns closely to your company’s values. It shows people what the business stands for and supports.
By sharing this news with a journalist instead of on your own social media, you’re passing the mic and letting them congratulate you instead.
Keep in mind that just because you write a press release, it doesn’t mean a news outlet will pick it up. You also have to build relationships with local reporters so you can send them your news. They won’t turn all of them into stories, but when they do it’s often well worth the time it took to write the press release.
We often see large companies and institutions issuing press releases, but small and medium businesses can be using them to their advantage as well.
They’re great tools for spreading brand awareness to your current audience, as well as for reaching new audiences, building credibility, and improving SEO.