What’s wrong with just sending a news release?
Liza and I get maybe a call a week from a company that “just wants to get a news release out” on a new product, service or event. And while news releases serve to educate journalists – and ultimately their audiences – on these new announcements, some people think that’s where public relations ends.
Quite the contrary. Public relations is comprised of developing relationships with so many different audiences: company employees, individuals in the local community, key investors, journalists, bloggers, existing consumers, new prospects, etc. And the way to build relationships and trust is to implement an ongoing public relations plan to continually keep these different audience members apprised of ongoing news, developments and announcements. This can happen through media relations, special events, grass roots marketing, social media activities – but very rarely is it a result of sending one lone press release.
For example, we’ve worked with Progress Lighting to execute a strategic PR plan for three years. We send out news releases to announce new products, awards and company news – but we are successful throughout the year in getting media coverage in key outlets because of ongoing relationships. I know which publications are working on certain issues – and I try to be a resource to them however I can by sending product information, images and resources for these focuses. In turn, these same editors trust that when they need an image, information or resources, they can reach me and I will provide requested images as soon as possible to meet their deadlines. This trust didn’t happen overnight – or because of one press release they received.
Our team conducts extensive research for each client and every opportunity. We ask questions such as, “Where are key audiences getting their news? Which messages will resonate with individuals to get the desired reaction (whether increasing awareness, changing behaviors, motivating them to act in a certain way)? And what is the best way to get this message in front of them?”
When our clients realize that there are so many unique ways we can help them achieve their communications and business goals, a single press release becomes less and less of an option.
What are the best ways you get your news in front of your audiences? For PR professionals, what is the most creative thing you’ve done to communicate your client’s or company’s news? Or, how much do you rely on just creating and distributing news releases?