Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Writing Your First "Small Business" Press Release

What's a Press Release?
Think of it as an advertisement for your business and its new product, but is going to look like a typical column you might read in a newspaper - pure and simple.

How/where do I start?
Take your subject and work out exactly what it is, who'd want to read about it and who will benefit. Now take everything about you out of it - you're about to become the third person. From now on, when you're mentioned, you'll be known as "Joe Bloggs, Director of Blogg's Industries" or just "Bloggs".* 

Today you become a journalist. 
For your press release, you won't be writing the normal sales spiel about how good your company is, how you are the answer to everyone's needs etc., you need to be impartial and honest. This piece has to demonstrate why your company, and its new product, is newsworthy to the public, and the general press. It must excite, it must have an awesome headline and it should look like you cut it out of the local rag.

Your Business
So let's imagine the press release header for an established motorcycle workshop and their latest service offering free chassis alignment and basic suspension setup. 
They're called BikeTech7 Motorcycle Repair and they want to encourage more customers by offering a new service of setting the suspension to the individual rider's weight, and also aligning the bike's geometry correctly. Because of the potential for up-sell, they're offering a completely free service for any pre-booked customers.

I think so. They have a great product, with plenty of benefits and, best of all, it's totally free. So... 
  • how does all that go into a press release 300-500 words long? 
  • and how should the press release look? 
  • strewth, how do you even start it - what comes first?
Luckily, there are loads of great websites out there giving ideas on layouts etc., but before we go into the design, let's choose a headline. This needs to be good - no, superb - and is worth spending a lot of time on, but for today I'm simply going to use this:

Gold Coast's BikeTech7 Offers Free Motorcycle Suspension Setup.

Simple, and to the point - eye-catching and enough to intrigue the reader. Anybody with an interest in motorbikes is going to read this whether they take them up on the offer or not.

Let's put it together - a typical Press Release layout.



For immediate release
For more information please contact:
Ben Vaughan
Mobile:   +61 0403 210 654

Gold Coast's BikeTech7 Offers Free Motorcycle Suspension Setup.

Safer Riding and Getting the Best from Your Motorcycle.

Gold Coast, Queensland (February 22, 2012) -- With the roads becoming more congested daily, and motorcycles increasing in power and speed every year, it's never been so important to make sure that the bike is set up safely for the actual rider. Manufacturers can carry out basic settings at the factory, but it is down to the individual to ensure that their machine is correctly configured for their weight and riding style.

Owner of BikeTech7, Ben Vaughan, was concerned enough that he's offering a free service to all riders where he will set up your bike for you. With free advice and recommendations, he aims to clear up the somewhat murky details of bike suspension, and how it works.

"Customers are often afraid of adjusting their own motorcycles because they don't fully understand the complex workings of modern suspension."

And there's our start. 
See how the owner is quoted, as if being interviewed, and the main text is written as if by a completely impartial source?
Keep all details to the point and "newsworthy". If it's irrelevant, leave it out. Tell them about the service offered, why it's so good, mention awards won previously etc. and you are on your way to writing a great press release.

Good luck!

Need a Press Release for Your New Product? 
Contact ben@benvaughancopy.com Today.

*Feel free to put your own name in if you don't happen to be called Joe Bloggs:)

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