When you pick up the newspaper or a magazine, what are you looking for?
I’ll bet it’s either entertainment or information. And unless the information you want regards something to buy, you’re probably not zeroed in on the ads. Right?
If you do see an ad, it’s by accident, because it was in your way while you were looking for articles, photos, or perhaps the crossword. It’s an interruption, just like TV ads are an interruption. And you know how much we enjoy them.
We love them so much that the advertisers turn up the volume, hoping we’ll hear them even though we’ve used that time to run to the kitchen or move the laundry from the washer to the dryer.
So… your ad will be noticed by a few people, but ignored by most. That’s kind of a depressing way to spend money, isn’t it?
Well here’s the good news! A press release isn’t an ad! It’s an article – the very thing that many readers are searching for! That means that more people are going to read it, even if it isn’t about something they think they need or want right now.
That’s the first benefit. The next is that because you’re giving good information or being shown as an expert, you’ll gain respect and recognition. And even if the readers don’t need what you offer today, they’re apt to remember you. If the release is interesting enough, they may even quote you to friends. Anyone in the “news” begins a buzz about themselves.
Press releases in the local news work especially well when you submit them regularly, so the people in your community begin to see you as the expert in your field – the person they can trust to bring them valuable information.
Think about that. If your community has 3 dentists and you regularly see information in your newspaper that comes from one of them, won’t you begin to regard him or her as more expert, or even more caring, than a dentist who doesn’t publish information?
How about Realtors? If one in the community keeps offering expert information, won’t you soon begin to regard that person as “the” expert on real estate in your community?
The same could be said for any business.
The third benefit is, of course, cost. Newspapers don’t charge to print press releases because they’re news. And newspapers need news!
So there are your three reasons:
- People will read a news story while they ignore the ads
- You’ll become an instant expert – to be trusted
- You don’t have to pay for insertion, and you get more space
There is a drawback, of course. Your press release can’t be a blatant ad – it has to contain news. You may think that’s too difficult – there’s no news about you. But that’s not so. Even if there’s no news about you – you know things that are newsworthy.
You can share your expertise, then offer more information about the subject on your web page, and give the URL. You can also invite people to call or write for a brochure or white paper.
It just takes some careful writing to produce a marketing piece that doesn’t look like an ad.