Press Release 101 – The Beginning, Middle, and End to the Perfect Press Release

How do you tell the world what’s happening with your organization? One of the best, and easiest, methods is a press release. If you follow the steps below and reference past Targeted Persuasion press releases, you’ll be well on your way to attracting the media attention that your event or announcement deserves.

  • BEGINNING: Contact Info and Headline
    Lead off your press release with the name, phone number, and email of a representative from your organization. Beneath that should be an attention-grabbing headline that clearly outlines the reason for the press release. Try to keep the headline under 70 characters.*Note; ‘FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE’ tells the media that there’s no delay in the announcement.
  • MIDDLE: Body Paragraphs and Quotes
    Once you’ve grabbed your reader’s attention with a strong headline, it is important to provide relevant information in a concise way. Focus on the ‘who, what, when, where, etc.’ in the first paragraph. Use subsequent paragraphs to elaborate on the facts of the story.
    * Note; While the content of the press release should not include opinions, adding quotes can give you an editorial advantage, so be sure to include remarks from relevant people.
  • END: Boilerplate and call to action
    Don’t leave reporters hanging at the end of a press release. Make sure to add a description of your organization, called a boilerplate, at the end. Below is a short and sweat example from Live Nation.

If you’re looking for additional tips, The Guardian and Huffington Post both have some great pieces on press releases.

Not sold on the value of a strong press release? Check out the impact the example from this blog had in the Charlotte Observer.

 

What We Can Learn About Influencer Marketing From The Winter Olympics

Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn have been capturing America’s attention (and marketing dollars) for years, but for the 2018 Olympic games in PyeongChang, companies are rolling the dice on underdogs. The value here lies in what these influencers can provide for your marketing campaign (for more info on influencer marketing, check out this article from the Targeted Persuasion blog). As the hype around influencer marketing grows, even small and mid-sized companies are jumping on board to capitalize on this low cost way of reaching customers through new channels. Check out these stars who have already made a splash at this year’s Winter Olympics.

  • Chloe Kim is a snowboarding sensation and her ability in the halfpipe is only matched by her social media savvy. Her gold medal winning performance, combined with her ability to generate buzz online, has made her a great asset to brands like Nike and Visa. Okay, we admit it. We cheated a little here by including Kim in a list of ‘underdogs.’ But at only 17 years old it’s safe to say Chloe is just getting started. And she’s already cashing in.
  • Red Gerard: This 5-foot-5 17-year-old became the first American to capture gold in Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle. Brands like Red Bull and Protec are happy they signed this rising American athlete early.
  • Perrine Laffont: With only 15,600 Instagram followers before the games started, this 19-year-old Frenchwoman was not on many people’s radar, but after winning gold in the Women’s Moguls, her influencer marketing value will shoot up, if not her Instagram followers.
  • Mark McMorris: 11 months ago, this Canadian snowboarder was in a medically induced coma after a snowboarding accident, but on Sunday, he was standing on the podium with a bronze medal in Men’s Slopestyle. This type of comeback story is inspiring to all and creates a perfect influencer marketing storyline.

Even Alibaba, one of the largest companies in the world, is looking small with their “To the Greatness of the Small” Olympic campaign.

Alibaba sees the value of local connections that smaller-name athletes have in their respective countries.

However, if you’re running an advocacy group, political campaign, or small business, landing an underdog Olympic athlete may not be feasible or practical. That doesn’t mean you should turn your back on influencer marketing. In fact, you can still leverage the advantages of a local influencer by looking for activists, trendsetters, or personalities in your community. Take the Humane Society of Charlotte, for example, who enlisted the help of Panthers head coach Ron Rivera for their Safe Bet. Adopt a Pet marketing campaign.

 

Need help finding an influencer in your community? Try hiring a communications or public relations firm like Targeted Persuasion to give you a hand.

PR Lessons from The Super Bowl

Watching the Super Bowl for the commercials is so 2008. It’s 2018 and instead of commercials, the most memorable marketing moves came from the events that big brands put on around downtown Minneapolis. Some of the best events from this past week include:

  • Ford Tough Sleigh Ride – Fans were able to take a ride around downtown Minneapolis in a sled pulled by a Ford F-150. How fun it was it in single digit temperatures? Well, how Ford Tough are you?

  • Polaris UpsideDowntown stunt show – The sportswear company took over Nicollet Mall, a downtown shopping area in Minneapolis, to a host a snowmobile stunt show that was free to the public. Were Minnesotans already not riding their snowmobiles to work though?

  • US Bank Possibilities Lounge – US Bank already has the naming rights to the stadium where Super Bowl LII was played, but they took their marketing push one step further by renting out a local McCormick and Schmick’s and creating a lounge where the public was able to experience a “virtual payment demo”. Interestingly, US Bank did not pay for a national TV ad despite the extensive marketing campaign they had for the Super Bowl.

These brands are capitalizing on what’s called earned media – an event that creates media attention through some good old fashioned sweat equity. The rational is simple: put effort into an event that is fun and worthwhile for the community, and reap the rewards of the media’s attention. Notice all the links in this post are from real news sites, not corporate press releases. The reason these events have become popular is the improved return on investment companies enjoy when compared to a multi-million dollar ads during the big game.

The great news is that you don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company to pull this off. It just takes a little creativity and media-savvy.

If you’re looking for new ways to increase your brand or association’s exposure, contact Targeted Persuasion and let us help you earn some media.