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Social Media nowadays has quickly become an essential tool for public and private organizations both large and small. We always want to improve our branding platforms and social media campaigns through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and News Media or we call it the same as a “Press Release”, "Press Announcement”, or a "News Release." Although many of us use Social Media in promoting our businesses and products, the Press Release still plays an important role.
What is a press release in the first place ?
A press release is a coined word that combines the two words "press (press / newspaper / newspaper company)" and "release (release / announcement / publication)".
In other words, it is a written official document delivered to members of the news media (like journalists and editors) for the purpose of providing information, an official statement, or making an announcement of a product launch, service, or opportunity to the public.
The press release must contain new information (= news). New information includes not only new initiatives and services, but also information generated by revisions and improvements. Keep in mind that this is an important point.
What is the meaning of distributing a press release in public relations activities? It is the job of the spokesperson to get the media to cover all of the company's activities and to spread awareness through third-party reporting. That is why the distribution of press releases is an effective means. This is because the news we see on a daily basis starts with press releases, and media personnel pick up useful information for readers and viewers, edit it, and deliver it.
However, in recent years, the number of companies and organizations that utilize press release distribution services and publish press releases on their own SNS has increased, and consumers have more opportunities to see press releases directly. In other words , distribute press releases as a means of widely informing about their activities.
The first thing to be aware of when delivering a press release is the difference from advertising. Press releases are published semi-permanently, as they do not buy and publish media slots. Some may consider issuing a press release as part of the promotion, but it is just a means of expressing corporate activities and building the ideal relationships with stakeholders such as customers and the media.
What elements should be included in the content of the press release and what should be taken care of?
The following seven items should be included in the press release.
(b) Lead sentence (Summary of contents)
(e) Future prospects
(f) Corporate information
(g) Contact information
The key points of the press release are (a) title and (b) lead sentence (summary of contents). A huge number of press releases are sent to the media every day, and many press releases are reprinted on the internet. First of all, it is important (1) whether the title catches your eye , and (2) whether you will be interested in the lead sentence (summary of the content). Write with consciousness of including the necessary information concisely.
It is important to emphasize what you want while incorporating the following three items in the main text of the press release: (c) features, (d) background, and (e) future prospects.
(c) For features, provide detailed and specific information.
(d) In the background part, if there is a story that led to the development of the product / service, it will create sympathy for the reader and make the press release easier to convey.
(e) Regarding the future prospects/outlook, enter specific details so that the vision of the business will be visualized, and it will be easier for people to recognize that it is an initiative that should be reported or noted.
(f) Company information and (g) Contact information must be stated. Even if you are interested in it, if you can't find the contact information, you will miss the opportunity to contact the media and consumers. In addition, please include the contact information of the spokesperson in the contact information of the media so that you can respond quickly to applications for coverage.
Including numbers and data in your press release will make it more persuasive. When doing so, be very careful to include accurate numbers and data.
It is also not desirable to use abstract phrases or adjectives. This is because some people have different interpretations. For example, avoid expressions that obscure the specific quantity, such as "many" or "few." Even when you say "80% are more satisfied", you need to specify the population parameter as to what the ratio is.
The important thing is to write in a way that is easy for the other person to understand correctly.
The method of reporting differs depending on the type of media, such as newspapers, television, radio, and the web. In addition, the features and flow will change depending on the media domain such as the national version, local version, and industry version.
Therefore, it is necessary to change the press release template used for each delivery medium.
It is not necessary to rewrite the entire text, it is enough to change the headline and the featured image according to the delivery destination. It is best if you can imagine the reader and create and distribute a press release.
Communicating the facts is the most important thing in a press release, but it also requires various considerations to express the facts attractively in order to interest the reader.
By incorporating the elements introduced below, you can create a press release that is judged to be newsworthy.
c. Specificity / Uniqueness
d. Human Nature / Drama
e. Sociality / Era
f. Recordability / Performance
g. Practicality / Profitability
h. Management / Internationality
Insert charts and images in your press release. At first glance, product images and graphs allow readers to quickly understand the content of the press release.
For example, in the case of a press release informing you of a business alliance, you may include a photo of the representatives shaking hands or a correlation diagram.
Even when reprinted on Web media using the press release distribution service, the reach rate to the article depends on the presence or absence of thumbnail images. According to a survey by the App Marketing Institute, you can increase the click-through rate of articles by 27% by including thumbnail images.
Be sure to insert charts and images so that the press release you created can be delivered to as many people as possible.
When you distribute a press release, that information may be published in the media. This is a big advantage for the company. Media posting, which disseminates information from the objective perspective of a third party, is more reliable from the public than advertising.
[Pattern of media publication via press release]
By distributing the press release, information can be widely disseminated not only to the media but also to the stakeholders of the company.
In recent years, an increasing number of companies have posted the full text on their own website when the press release is announced. By making it visible to everyone, it is possible to convey the movement of the company to general consumers, employees and their families. In addition, the press release is a concise collection of new information as an official document, and it will be easy to use when explaining the company's trends to investors, shareholders and business partners.
The distribution of press releases can also contribute to your company's sales.
Continuous distribution of press releases conveys the attitude and philosophy of corporate activities, and as a result of improving the company's name recognition, it may lead to increased sales of products and services.
In today's world where the quality of products and services exceeds a certain level, consumers tend to focus on whether they can sympathize with the corporate attitude and brand story. In other words, emotional value is more important than the functional value of a product. Through press releases continuously disseminating information, it can build a steady brand image.
Contribution to sales is a medium to long term benefit obtained by distributing press releases. You may be wondering how much response you received after the press release was delivered, but be aware that it is unlikely that it will be effective immediately afterwards.
By distributing the press release, you can get the benefits introduced so far almost free of charge. If you mention such costs, you will be charged for the in-house press release creation cost, the time and effort required for distribution work, and the press release distribution service if you want to utilize it.
Especially as mentioned in “Advantage 1”, if you can get media coverage, it will be cost-effective. Advertising costs a lot, but press release distribution offers high performance at a low cost as mentioned above.
By establishing a brand image through continuous information dissemination through press releases, we can expect secondary effects such as increasing the number of fans and applicants for joining the company. Sometimes it can contribute to recruiting activities, even if it is not direct.
Press release distribution has various potentials and can be said to be a cost-effective initiative.
When delivering the press release, let's check not only the merits but also the precautions.
No matter how long it takes to create a press release, it is not guaranteed that it will be covered and published in the media.
Media professionals receive a huge amount of press releases every day. Sometimes your press release is buried and not read, and sometimes it catches your eye but doesn't get the attention of the media.
In addition, even if it leads to coverage and it is decided to publish once, it is not uncommon for the publication to be postponed if a big incident or news is inserted.
It is not possible for companies or organizations to make requests regarding the content of the report.
The contents of press releases and interviews are converted into information necessary for the world through the media and posted. Depending on the interpretation of the reporter who read the press release, it may lead to unintended reporting. When creating a press release, it is important to have both a company perspective and a press perspective.
Also, please understand in advance that you will not know how to cut out the information until the time of publication (airing).
It is important to continue to disseminate the president's thoughts and corporate vision, and to build a steady relationship of trust between reporters and spokespersons so that their activities can be viewed positively.
If a press release catches the eye of many media outlets and consumers, it may be overwhelmed.
For example, the following situations can be considered.
Keep in mind that you may need to prepare the corresponding operations in advance, and in some cases, you may need to increase the number of staff or production. It's a good idea to share the press release with the entire company so that all employees can respond to inquiries.
The press release is the quickest way to get publicity for your company. Therefore, it is important to write a press release that connects with your target audience. But, writing a great press release is easier said than done.