A media release is a powerful tool for small business owners. When used right, they can bolster your reputation, reach a wider audience, and establish you as an authority in your field. They should be an important part of your communication plan.

Best of all, you can share a media release with the objective of gaining free publicity for your business.

Distributing a media release is a concept that small business owners are familiar with but tend to find daunting. With the advent of social media, we think that we can get noticed without them. Deep down, you know that social media can’t do it all.

Leveraging a media release for publicity doesn’t have to be scary.

In fact, if you’ve never used a media release to leverage free publicity for your business or organisation, you’re missing out.

Using a media release for publicity is more than marketing

While it complements your marketing strategy, a media release is classified as public relations. One way to look at it is that marketing = targeted brand/product exposure while public relations = reputation management. A media release enables you to share information with your audience via a third party.

The aim of a media release is to share information with the media and influencers in the hope that they will share it via their communication channels. This differs to marketing materials which you create and broadcast directly to the target audience.

Who do you believe, the company trying to win your business or a neutral third party?

While involving a third party makes the end result less controllable, it gives your message more power. When it gets shared by someone outside your organisation, it is perceived as more genuine because it is received more like a recommendation from a friend. Your business and message gain credibility by association.

Sharing a media release has the added bonus of encouraging backlinks to your website  and publishing one on your site contributes to improved SEO.

Finding a story that is newsworthy

The secret to using media releases for free publicity is to understand what makes a story newsworthy.  The definition of news varies from one outlet to another so it’s crucial that you make an informed choice about where to send your media release.

When brainstorming topics for your release, consider the following criteria for news:

  • Timeliness
  • Relevance
  • Proximity
  • Prominence
  • Significance
  • Rarity
  • Trendiness
  • Human Interest
  • Conflict

If you run a hair salon, a magazine or blog with a focus on style and sustainability won’t be interested in your apprentice winning junior hairdresser of the year (try the local paper and industry publications). But if your salon has integrated ethics that align with those of the chosen magazine or blog? Then you need to identify the correct editor and send that media release – pronto!

If you’re thinking, ‘Aaargh, I need to send out a media release for publicity but I hate writing!’, I can help.

Every business has stories that will interest the right audience. As long as you can identify a newsworthy event, turn it into a story with the help of a professionally written media release and send it out to the right people, then your business has just as much chance as the next.

Grab my checklist of 31 Great Reasons for Your Business to Distribute a Media Release.

I’d love to help you leverage the power of the media release for your small business. Get in touch and we’ll announce your big news together.