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What is a Press Release and Why Should I Use One?


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Last night on April Sims A and E Radio, the topic was ‘What is a Press Release and Why Should I Use One?

According to Wikipedia, a press release, news release, media release, or press statement is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value. Typically, they are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, televisions stations and/or television networks. Commercial press-release distribution services are also used to distribute them.

Vincent Versher of Pure Marketing Group, LLC, called into the show and shared his insight regarding Press Releases, Marketing and PR.  Vincent stressed the importance in knowing the difference between a Marketer and a Publicist.  According to Vincent a Publicist is the Hype Man when it comes to print media and a Marketer is responsible for letting consumers know that the product exists.  He went on to say that your public relations person is the go-between in regards to the product and the consumer.

A good Press Release should be void of errors and typos.  According to Vincent Versher, a good Press Release should be 400 words or less and should contain who, what, when, time and contact information.  It is useless to submit a Press Release if the reader does not know how to get in contact with you regarding your event, product or service.  In many instances, this may be your one shot at catching the eye of an Editor at a major periodical and they click spam on your submission due to typos or inconsistencies.

We went on to stress that, in the case of a product you are working on, it is imperative not to put out a Press Release more than 45 days before the “actual” release date of the product.  Putting out a Press Release sooner than 45 days before the “actual” release date will get potential consumers excited and then after a while, if the product is not released, the excitement dissipates and there is a big chance that your competitors will benefit.

One great reason to do a Press Release, according to Vincent, is ‘Cause Marketing’.  ‘Cause Marketing’ is partnering with a charity that you are willing to donate a portion of the proceeds from your event to.  This is an excellent reason to write a Press Release and get your name out in the local community and potential to reach a global community.  Try to stick with charities that are within the scope of your event.  For example if you are doing a music event for your local elementary school, patrons are more likely to support the Music Link Foundation over supporting a 3k run that supports something not related to children or music.

Other reasons to write press releases include, however are not limited to the following:

  • Getting involved with charities
  • Getting involved with your local school system
    • Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
    • Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA)
    • Career Day (going to local school and sharing a subject or your profession with the student body)
    • Taking pictures at a school event
    • Teaching classes (e.g., music, drama, photography, sculpting, etc.)
  • Hiring a new employee that brings substance and value to your business
  • Speaking engagement(s)
  • Teaching a seminar
  • Radio or Television appearance
  • Earning a degree, award or certificate
  • Publishing an article

Below are a few sites that you can submit your press releases to

Written by April Sims
www.WEareGREATERthani.com
April Sims A and E Radio
April Sims Photography

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  1. January 20, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Excellent article, April! You gave me tons of ideas for my new projects. It is basic, but it is good to be reminded of those things. One of the ideas is to partner with a charity in my city for my CD, and another one for my fifth book. Thank you so much!

    • January 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm

      You are more than welcome Cendrine. Sometimes the basics seem too back, however in many cases they are the most effective.

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