As the old saying goes, “Advertising is what you pay for; publicity is what you pray for.” News coverage is one place where underdogs and the big dogs are on equal footing. A positive news article is more persuasive than a simple ad, so it’s worth your time and budget to make an investment in qualified public relations services.
When it comes to the PR bag of tricks, there are two types of announcements you can use to help your challenger brand make the news: press releases and media advisories.
A press release (a.k.a. news release) is best used for telling the whole news story. A well-written press release makes it easy for a busy reporter to run the story as is and helps get your key messages in print.
Press releases should be written in proper Associated Press news-writing style using the inverted pyramid, which provides the most important information at the top followed by the least important information at the bottom. The release should always answer the questions of who, what, when, where and why/how. The content should be written with an objective tone to avoid appearing too self-serving.
News for press releases: awards, company growth, expansion or milestone, new executives, new products/services, and significant positive changes.
Media advisories (a.k.a. media alerts) are designed to generate attendance or attention for an event. Like press releases, media advisories should be written in classic, news-writing style, but one key difference is that that a media advisory doesn’t just answer the who, what, when, where and why, it lists these words directly. Bonus points for offering a photo opp.
News for media advisories: contests, sweepstakes, trade events, community events
There’s no doubt that your challenger brand has good things going on; let the news outlets know, and it can increase your web traffic, boost sales, improve your brand’s perception among key audience, and just might lead to the kind of feature story that money can’t buy.