Increase sales with PR

  • Write effective press releases
  • Consider hiring a P.R. professional
  • Know your audience
  • Plan ahead

The term Public Relations (P.R.) means the ongoing efforts of a business to maintain a positive public image. Often, public relations are conducted through the media, that is, newspapers, television, magazines, etc.  Writing and distributing a “press release” – a thoughtfully prepared written statement – is the traditional way for businesses and organizations to communicate with the media.  Here are some tips for writing a press release that will attract positive attention for your small business:

  • Put the most important information first. The media will pay attention if you have a newsworthy story to tell.  Just as in the newspaper, the headline should contain the most important, attention-grabbing information about the story.  Put the who, what, when, where and why in the first paragraph.  After that, you can add further information and perhaps a quote from a key person in your company, or an expert on the subject you’re presenting.  Make sure your information is accurate and focus on the facts.  Don’t exaggerate.  In the final paragraph, provide a brief summary of your company: where it’s located, what your business does, the types of clients you serve, and the year you were founded.
  • Consider hiring someone experienced to assist you if you need advice on P.R. strategy, or you don’t have the time or desire to write and manage your own press releases.
  • Include contact information, such as your name, phone numbers, and email address. Also write the date and “For immediate release” at the top of the page.
  • Target your audience by doing a little research.  Find appropriate reporters or editors at local news outlets that cover your business.  A donut shop should target a food critic, for example.  But don’t try to pressure reporters to run your story.  You always want to maintain positive relationships with the press.
  • Distribute your press release in advance – at least two weeks before, if you’re announcing an event. Send the release via email, fax or mail, depending on the writer’s preferences. You can also mass distribute press releases by using a wire service, such as PR Newswire.