One of the mainstays of B2B marketing public relations is the product news release. Done properly, it announces your new product or service to the marketplace, positions your company as innovator, and generates inquiries and click-throughs to your company’s website. Done with finesse and frequency, news releases will also put your company on editors’ radars and lead to future publicity opportunities both in print and online.
Here are the do’s:
- Do make sure your topic is really news, such as a new product, a significant milestone or a change in a product that adds user benefits.
- Do write the first paragraph to pay off the headline, delivering what the headline promises.
- Do concentrate on communicating user benefits instead of just product features.
- Do save unsupported claims and opinions for quotes from a company spokesperson.
- Do know your intended audience and write for those readers.
- Do include several “hot links” to your company’s website or product page.
- Do include a thumbnail photo of the product and caption, plus a link to a high-resolution file.
- Do include a line in the last paragraph about how to obtain more information on the subject.
- Do include your company’s contact information so editors can follow up if there are questions.
- Do use the correct physical format: use 1.5 spaces between lines in a Word document,
maintain AP style throughout, and double-check for grammar and spelling errors.
- Do include “boilerplate” information about the company in an editor’s note at the end.
And now, the don’ts:
- Don’t make your headline or your lead sentence too cute or outlandish.
- Don’t use bullets points to list product features, benefits or other information.
- Don’t send your news release to publications for which it would be unsuitable.
- Don’t exceed 500-600 words in total length.
- Don’t include a quote from a spokesperson unless it adds to the story in some meaningful way.
- Don’t call or email editors to find out if they are going to run your news release.
News releases are an important part of an overall marketing communications strategy, and they can be a big plus for your company’s marketing efforts and reputation.