How to use press releases to get your business into the news

How do you get your business into the news? What exactly is a press release?

These are common questions I get asked all the time, so I am going to answer them for everyone’s benefit.

Having worked in newsrooms all over the Highlands, Argyll, and Moray, I can tell you the main incentive for any publisher reading press releases is newsworthiness.

Press release
A press release used as a page lead in Scotland’s widest-circulating daily
  • Just because your news is local doesn’t mean your press release will get used.
  • Just because you know the reporter (or even the editor) doesn’t mean it is safe from the rubbish bin.
  • And just because it comes from a PR agency, doesn’t mean diddly squat.

Newsworthiness is above all, the number one priority for a journalist trying to fill his or her pages with news people will read.

Most press releases go straight in the bin

And most, and I mean MOST, press releases that land on journalists’ desks are not going to see the light of day.

So why would you pay a PR professional if there is no guarantee?

There’s nothing to stop you writing your own press release and send it to the papers, but if you don’t get the newsworthy point across you could increase your chances of it going straight into the bin. You could hire a big PR agency, but they might want thousands to keep you on a retainer, and they still won’t guarantee you coverage.

You get coverage or you don’t pay a penny

We are not a big PR agency, the clue is in the name, but I do have masses of experience working in the media, and working with businesses, organisations, and events to get media coverage and so I know how to pitch an article to a newspaper, radio or TV station.

For a one-off press release and picture, we charge £250, and for this, you get:

  • Experienced journalist to interview relevant people in your business
  • Professional photographer to take accompanying pictures
  • Well-written and proofread press release that sells your product/service/company
  • To approve the copy and make corrections if necessary
  • Press release and pictures sent to my network of journalist contacts
  • Review of performance and coverage

While I can’t guarantee you will get coverage, I will put my money where my mouth is, and I will guarantee that if your press release doesn’t get used anywhere, you won’t pay a penny.

Once I have sent the press release, or even before, you can also use it on your own website and social networks, which can contribute towards your search engine ranking. You won’t pay any extra if it gets used in several different publications.

Is £250 good value?

You’ll find some PR companies will charge £500 for this service. Yes, twice as much, and while the value you get from your appearance in the media could be worth 10 times that or more, you can get the same top-level service for much less. We don’t cut corners, we just charge a fair rate for doing a proper job.

An article with a picture would typically take up quarter to half a tabloid page. My price is much lower than an ad, and, according to industry guidelines, at least twice as effective. Articles that appear to the reader to be written by a journalist, are more trusted. The same scales of value apply to radio, web and TV.

And lastly, if you don’t think you have anything newsworthy enough, don’t be so hard on yourself. You might just be sitting on a brilliant story without realising. It wouldn’t be the first time!

Just call me on 01309 255055 or email [email protected] for free advice. I know what journalists are looking for, I used to be one.