Getting a new business off the ground is a daunting prospect.
There are so many things to consider: office space, equipment,
personnel, and the all important advertising. Money is always
tight in the beginning, and quite often by the time that last
dollar is spent getting things up and running, the advertising
budget just isn't there. Not to worry. There are many great
ways of getting the word out about your business without spending
a fortune. In particular, press releases have long been an
effective way of letting the public know that your business
Now a press release is not an ad, and any press release
structured like an ad will be deleted in a second. The job of a
press release is simply to alert the media to something
newsworthy about your business. It's a bit like fishing. Whether
or not the editor takes your bait depends on how you present your
business, or even what kind of day the editor is having. In the
end, it is entirely up to the individual editors whether or not
they use your story.
When writing your press release, make it sound newsy. Don't
start off with sales language. You can save the blatant
commercial stuff for the end of the release. Choose something
interesting about your business and create a headline. "New
Innovations in Gardening Produce Beautiful Crop of Strawberries,"
is much more likely to be read than, "Johnson's Nursery Grand
Opening Special: 50% off on Strawberries." Get the picture?
After you've got a great headline, fill out your story with
interesting facts about your business. Give a brief history of
what led you to what you're doing now. Mention how the needs of
the market are changing and how your business is a result of
those changes. Try using quotes. Whatever you do, make it
interesting, and stay away from blatant sales language or
Once you've got your release written, submit it to as many
media outlets as possible. You can find media databases and
lists of editors all over the web. One that I've had
particularly great luck with is Gebbie.com., try them, and also
do a search to see what you can come up with on your own. Submit
to all of your local papers, radio stations and TV stations as
well. Too often people doing business online forget about local
media, and sometimes they can be your biggest champions.
Linking your release to a popular story in the news can also
get an editor's attention. If a specific topic is already on the
tips of people's tongues, a related release is much more likely
to be picked up. Media people tend to think that a typical
audience can only stay interested in a few topics at a time, so
if you can tie your story in to something that's already getting
buzz you'll have a much better chance. If you don't get picked
up right away, keep trying. What an editor ignores today may
sound like a great story next month. Don't give up.
The time at which you submit your release is crucial as well. You
will always have a better chance of being noticed if the editor
receives your story before 3pm. Late afternoon is deadline
"crunch" time for newspapers, past the prime news times of radio,
and getting into last minute preparation time for TV news. Keep
that in mind and don't get lost in the shuffle.
If you do it right, submitting a press release can be a great way
of getting the word out about your business. There's money to be
made out there if you just know how to do it.
About the Author
Alvin Apple helps everyday people start businesses they will
enjoy. Then he teaches them how to succeed. Read all his
helpful strategies, including his latest article "How to Use
Signature Files to Give Your E-mail The Personal Touch That
SELLS," at http://AlvinApple.com Reach Alvin at 801-328-9006 or