Having been an entrepreneur for the past few years, I’ve many times found myself seeking out ways to promote my business in the most cost effective ways possible. I’ve used social media, I’ve bartered for radio ads, I’ve done interviews with newspapers and I’ve even walked my horse through a parade with a sign hung over her saddle. There are many things you can do to promote your horse business at low cost, and today I’m going to teach you a very basic skill that any business owner should know.
As I just mentioned, I’ve done several interviews with local newspapers and publications, and I’ve come about these interviews by writing and submitting press releases (for free) to their editorial staff. Here is a simple break down of why this simple trick will benefit your business and how you can get noticed by the media.
What is a press release?
How do I write a press release?
You have a couple of options here. You can either outsource this task to someone who knows how to write a press release, or if you feel confident in your writing skills, do it yourself. (I’ve always done it myself.)
If you choose to do it on your own, there are many basic templates available online for you to follow. Ultimately, your press release should be assembled in a fashion similar to the template below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (if not for immediate release, specify the date in which the release may be printed)
Web site address:
<Insert City, State, Date here> — <Insert opening paragraph here.> This information should grasp the reader and be interesting enough that they would want to read through the remainder of your press release. Take a moment to consider what would excite you if YOU were the one reading this release.
Move on to type any additional relevant information here. This may include product announcements, an upcoming event or other general news. Don’t hesitate to quote your staff or testimonials from happy customers. In fact, I’ve been known to quote myself in press releases. Be descriptive and unique, and bring your press release to life.
# # #
(all press releases conclude with three hash tags at the end)
For additional information, please contact <insert contact name here> at <insert phone here> or <insert email here>.
When would I need to write a press release?
A press release can be submitted any time something significant happens within your business. If you’ve been scheduled to speak at an event, write a press release. If you won an award for a noticeable achievement, or were even a finalist in a competition, write a press release. If your business is expanding, write a press release. Some companies even submit press releases when they get an exciting new product.
How will I know if the newspaper or magazine is printed my press release?
Here’s the sad part about press releases – you may not always know when they’ve gone to print unless the media contacts you to set up an interview. Many times, a magazine or newspaper will just take your press release and print it as is, and won’t contact you. I can’t tell you how many times a friend has called me up and said, “Hey, I saw your article in the paper!” and I had no idea my announcement even went to print. The cool part is, you’re getting exposure either way, even if you don’t know of every instance in which your release is printed.
Where do I submit my press release?
You can submit your press release any where you feel your news is relevant. This could be local or even national media sources. Include any images pertinent to the release, preferably in high resolution. You can compress your PDF file (the release) and images into a .zip file, email them individually, or even make them available for download on your website. If a particular publication does not accept attachments, embed the text of your release directly in the email body, and let them know where they can get images if needed.
To find where to submit your release, you will typically go to the newspaper or magazine website, click the Contact Us link, and search for the appropriate department. If they don’t have a specific place for press releases to be submitted, your best bet is likely to send it to the editor(s) and they will forward it on to the appropriate place if needed.
How this can benefit your business:
I absolutely love seeing my business name in print. It’s exciting and fun to see that with a little bit of effort, you can have others promote your business free of charge. There’s no cost for a publication to print your press release, so give it a try!
Total prep time:
Approximately 3 hours to complete the following –
- Compile a list of potential publications that would be interested in your release
- Writing the press release and polishing it for submission
- Sending emails to your list of publications