A small business typically faces a fairly restricted marketing budget. Despite the necessity of mounting an effective marketing and public relations campaign for a product or service, a small business nearly always is constrained because of financial limitations
Time and time again, small businesses fail to take full advantage of potential free traditional and new or digital media opportunities. The best away to take advantage of these free media possibilities is crafting and distributing an appropriate press release. There are some specific considerations a small business owner needs to bear in mind when drafting a meaningful and effective press release.
Direct and to the Point
A common error made by a small business owner in drafting a press release is providing too much information and far too much verbiage. The key to creating a truly effective small business press release is conciseness. A press release providing information about a small business, its products or services should be contained within a maximum of 300 words.
Keep in mind that this is a general rule. There are rare instances when a press release issued by a small business can extend beyond the 300 word zone.
The First Paragraph is Fundamental
Another common mistake in the development of a press release for a small business is “telling a story,” building to a climax. In fact, a small business is best served by providing all of the key information in the first paragraph of the press release. This key data is then supplemented as necessary in the following two or three paragraphs.
The time-honored (and yet oftentimes disregarded) journalistic mantra of who, what, when, where and how is the ideal structure to utilize in formulating the first paragraph of a small business press release.
The Media Contact is Crucial
A press release includes a media contact, the individual designated to respond to inquiries by a media representative who might have questions or desire more information. Unfortunately, small businesses tend to treat designating this individual as something of an afterthought. A name is slapped onto a press release with little or no real thought.
A media contact must be adept at communicating with representatives of different types of media outlets. He or she must be well-versed in the subject matter of the press release. Finally, a media contact must be readily available to respond to media inquiries via phone or the Internet.