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Public Relations: Your Portal to Brand Awareness (Part 7 of 8)

Posted by Ellen McKewen on Dec 2, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Note: this entry is part of a series about using marketing to generate leads and enhance brand awareness. See our Sales & Marketing topic for the previous blog posts.

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Many manufacturers overlook the importance of Public Relations (PR). Many things fall under the umbrella of PR., but one of the primary goals of PR is to establish relationships with the reporters of local media outlets and trade publications so that they publish articles about your company. By getting quoted or mentioned in news article, you are able to:

  • Get a third-party to mention information about your products or services
  • Increase awareness about your company and brand
  • Establish yourself as a credible subject matter expert

Manufacturers can start the ball rolling by sending press releases to local reporters. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, press releases are written company announcements that are pitched to the media. When reporters receive your press releases, they can use some or all of the information in their articles. It’s a win-win situation: you’ve provided them with content for their article, and they quote you as a source in return.

To be clear…and this is what many manufacturers struggle with… press releases aren’t advertisements. You can’t just write your sales pitch or talk about how great your company is…and then expect a newspaper to write a glowing feature article. That’s not how it works.

Reporters write about topics that are beneficial to their readership – your goal is to provide them with content that they can use. Here are some tips on how to write a press release:

  • Make It Newsworthy: Avoid sending out self-promoting releases that brag about your products. Instead, write about something exciting such as emerging industry trends, interesting survey results.
  • Start Strong: Reporters don’t want to search through page after page looking to create a story. Look to grab their attention right away with a captivating headline and strong opening statements.
  • Stick to the Facts: You can’t just make up claims and not back them up. Reporters are worried about their credibility, so provide sources for any data you provide. Also avoid being too dramatic or exaggerating points.
  • Keep it Simple: The average publication writes stories on 6th grade reading level. Keep the thesaurus at home and use clear concise language. Be careful to avoid company or industry jargon.
  • Include a “Call to Action”: What’s the point of your press release? What would you like to the reader to do once the article is over? Make “the next step” for the reader clear. For example, “To register for the Charity Halloween Banquet Hall, call 555-555-5555 and ask for Mary Jean.”

With competition at a high, having your name in the paper can help. Through a great PR program, you can gain valuable exposure in your marketplace!

In the last part of the series, we’ll discuss the very important topic of Metrics and ROI!

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