Gaining Publicity – Writing a Press Release

Many retailers maintain their business because their location, among other things, is so ideal that they can’t keep up with the foot traffic. Others find that while their location is good, they still aren’t getting the foot traffic they believe they deserve. Whatever your situation is, most likely some publicity would help you out.

Gaining publicity does not have to be challenging. Without hiring a PR firm or independent publicist, you can take steps towards gaining some press for your store or wholesale business. While it isn’t entirely difficult to do, it does take dedication of time. And like it or not, who you know can help you gain the press you believe you deserve. But just in case you don’t know anyone that may help these matters, there are still easy steps to get you started in generating your business publicity.

To get started, you need to understand how the basic outreach for publicity works. It’s very simple, actually. The press and media, including magazine publications, newspapers, online networks, news channels, and television shows, need to know who you are. While there are various PR agencies, independent publicists, online publicity sources, and more that you could pay to help you do this, the oldie but goodie way of sending out press releases still works wonders.

Simply put, a press release is a statement prepared for distribution to the media. To help explain this, a press release can also be described as a story that is written to share with the media from a third person point of view that seeks to demonstrate to an editor or reporter newsworthy information of a particular store, service, product, or person. While press releases are often part of a press kit or media pitch, they are more often sent out individually. For most of you, this is an effective way to communicate to the media without investing too much time or too much money. That said, I do encourage some businesses, particularly wholesalers showcasing a new product, to prepare a press kit to communicate with the media when they first launch their product. I definitely do not encourage anyone to dismiss professional PR help if they can afford this or feel that they would benefit from this if PR is not up their alley or they don’t have time for it. If you don’t have the option of outsourcing this support, though, then I definitely encourage you to do it on your own.

Although press releases may seem intimidating to construct, they are actually quite easy and can be considered “cookie cutter” from a format perspective. The information shared within a press release should cover a few basic points as well as include all necessary information that will make the media want to respond to it. The basic points that must be included are referred to as the 5 W’s. They are:

1. Who
2. What
3. When
4. Where
5. Why

When writing your press release, you need to make sure and answer each of the above points within your release. In addition, all critical information should be within the first paragraph. This is simply because by including this information right away, your audience will quickly know if they are interested. The reality is that the media receives a lot of press releases, so your goal should be to capture your audience’s attention as quickly as possible. You want to make your point quick, clear, and concise while also making it exciting and captivating to your audience.

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