If you’re looking for cost-effective ways to promote and grow your small business, sooner or later someone will tell you that all you need to do is send out press releases. We live in a world with a 24 hour news cycle, and the internet is always hungry for content. If you send out enough press releases, the theory goes, the media will happily promote your business for you.
Well, yes and no. We do live in a world with a 24 hour news cycle, and the internet is always hungry for content. However, both print and web-based media are only interested in content that is useful from their point of view: something that’s interesting and of value to their readership.
Unfortunately, many times the press releases sent out by small business owners are entirely too self-promotional and not of interest to anyone except the business owner. These releases get deleted faster than the editor can mutter “Buy an ad, why don’t you?”
Avoid deletion by using one of these three simple strategies:
- Be Local: Local newspapers, radio stations and websites are most interested in news stories that are occurring in their territory. If your Westchester business caters to a mostly local clientele, you’ll want to develop strong relationships with local media. Event announcements, such as classes and workshops, usually get covered. If your business won an award, this adds to the prestige of the community. Let your local media know!
- Be Informative: As a Westchester business owner, you may have specific expertise that would be of interest to the larger public. For example, a garden center owner may send out a press release sharing the five best ways to control grubs in the lawn. You’re not trying to sell anything in this piece: you’re just sharing information to help area homeowners. Professionals such as accountants and attorneys often benefit from sending out informative press releases, as their material is perceived to be of very high value.
- Be Funny (When Appropriate): Humor is a powerful force. It captures attention and makes people feel good. If you have an appropriate opportunity, press releases that are funny or (more likely!) cover a funny event such as a bed race being held at a furniture store, are very likely to get picked up. Make sure that your humor is positive and upbeat in nature!
Are you having a hard time writing press releases to promote and grow your small business in the media? The SCORE Westchester team is here to help! We offer many workshops and classes on marketing your Westchester business, as well as one-on-one counseling services you can use to help your business grow!