Every business needs exposure and that’s no different for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer business owners, startups and non-profit organizations. You can send your press release out via a wire service and hope for the best. In addition to that approach, you should seek out every media outlet possible and create direct relationships to help get your new announcement published. One such site focusing on LGBTQ business owners and non-profits news is OutBüro – The LGBTQ Employer Reviews/Ratings, Job Portal, and Professional & Entrepreneur Networking Community. For more information on self-publishing your press release for free or being interviewed and featured by OutBüro check out the article titled “LGBT Business and Non-Profit Leaders: Create Buzz and SEO Love”.
Benefits of a Press Releases
Organizations of all sizes use press releases to:
- To attempt to gain media coverage. This would be when your company releases a new product or feature.
- To improve search engine optimization. Content about your company out on the web people can find you with your company and industry keywords will make your press release shareable. The backlinks provide SEO uplift to your own site. That ensures your release will be searchable and found online and can create buzz with target audiences you want to reach expanding your own direct efforts.
- To build your company brand recognition and reputation. Repeat, repeat, repeat. The more your brand is visible the more it will stick in the minds of your target audience. Maybe you are launching your business, or expanding your services. Maybe you completed a great client project or won an award. There are so many reasons to make a press release announcements.
- To have a proactive voice. When things go wrong, it’s often beneficial to break the story yourself first.
- It is a fairly low-cost way to market your company/organization. A well-written press release can help gain public attention through news coverage.
- To build solid relationships. Journalists and influencers are always looking to make connections with companies and organizations as sources of news. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. A good press release will capture their attention and have them eager to share the story with their audience.
- You need to answer why the reader should care and why this is news in the first couple of sentences.
- The first line of the release should answer concisely the who is it about and who is your target audience if you can and why it is pertinent to them.
- As an LGBTQ business owner, your business may focus on the LGBTQ community or not. If everyone is a potential client/customer then consider multiple press releases targeting different audiences. LGBTQ people like to patron LGBTQ owned businesses, so having LGBTQ language in your press release helps that community find and identify with your company/organization.
- What it is about? What is new? Has the company/organization reached a milestone or hosting an education event? Ensure you cover where including an address, city, region county, global or online that helps Google serve up local news.
- If it is an event or a promotion state when it is or the time frame of the action just as “completed a client project in June,” or “Labor Day weekend special.”
- Lastly but not least cover the how. How does or did this benefit the client or community? How to get in contact with you and so forth.
- Every press release should fit on an 8½-by-11 sheet of paper
- Contact Information is best at the top. Include the appropriate contact name, phone number, and email address.
- Pick Your Keywords – Ask yourself what are the main topics covered by your press release? Think about how the average person who may not understand your business or industry think about it. What search terms might they use?
Are Your Press Releases Getting Ignored?
If journalists or media outlet are ignoring your press releases there’s a good chance it’s because you have not answered the above basics or have it scattered throughout your press release making them hunt for it. Make it easy and follow the basics. Additionally, seek out media site such as OutBüro where you can post your press release yourself – and for free. OutBüro wants your LGBTQ owned business news and announcements that are office environment safe. Be sure to check out our article titled “LGBT Business and Non-Profit Leaders: Create Buzz and SEO Love”.
Videos have been hot on the internet and continue to be preferred form of information consumption. With a little preparation, you can make quick and easy short videos even right from your smartphone to share on your site, around the web, and in your press releases. Videos are shared more often on social media.
Adding an extra image or even a video is worth it. According to PR Newswire research adding an extra image(s) and/or video can increase your press release visibility by 552 percent.
Common Mistakes in a Press Release
Press releases are meant to increase media outreach, improve brand awareness and share important company/organization news. None of those goals can be achieved if your press release has common marketing mistakes.
Try to avoid:
- Using boring headlines. Keep it short and make every word work for you.
- Forgetting a call to action. Direct the reader to you a specific page on your website for example.
- Not Including images and video that bring the press release to life – if possible use original images to reduce stock image burn out.
- Sounding too much like sales pitch spam
- Spelling and grammar errors – we love Grammarly
The best length of a press release is about 300-400 words. That’s only three or four short paragraphs coupled with a few quotes. To get started, jot down a 3-4 section outline of the story and then write one or two sentences for each. Bullet points are your friend – they make your story easier to skim and make important points stand out.
Good quotes to elevate your copy. Depending on the publication, the quote might be the only portion that gets picked up, printed or cited. This means it needs to be clear, on message and essential.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making your quotes stand out:
- Don’t use words just for fluff. Be strategic and use buzzwords that will have a deeper meaning of what you are trying to say.
- Don’t use industry jargon. Use language that sounds conversational to professionals and brands.
- Each quote in the release should have a message supporting your brand and have a little WOW factor to entice the reader to learn more.
Use Data to Improve your Press Release
Having hard statistics and data to build trust between your company/organization and customers/clients.
- Look for patterns in customer reviews: What are your customers saying about your company/organization and how can you use those reviews for your story?
- Data gives your press release substance.
- Did you know that 42 percent of all statistics are completely full of crap because people never cite sources? See what we did there? Many PRs do that as well, only they don’t mean to. Journalists read your baffling statistics and immediately search for the source. Without them, you have no credibility. Without that, you have no story… 100 percent of the time.
Go Beyond Large Wire Services
Don’t call it a day after you’ve sent out your release over the wire. Reach out to a few of the journalists or influencers, such as OutBüro, you’ve identified and built a relationship. If you can schedule a call with them to learn more about their target audience and share how your news fits their audience. Follow up with them occasionally even when you don’t have a press release to send. Be authentic and if there’s not a match, be honest. Every media outlet has their niche focus. Then ensure your press release is geared toward that media outlet and its audience. GayStarNew, Queerty, and OutBüro have some overlapping similarities yet are very different from one another.