Should You Issue a Press Release? How to Know Whether or Not Your News Announcement Requires a Formal Press Release
Your business is gearing up to make an announcement. Whether it’s big or small, you are contemplating writing a press release to inform your audience(s) about the news. While pursuing this traditional media relations route can further your message’s reach to some degree, is it the best option? Here are some questions to answer when determining whether or not your latest announcement is best communicated through a press release:
Is It Newsworthy?
This is the first and simplest question you should consider before drafting a formal press release. Put yourself in the media’s shoes. If you were a reporter, would you pick up your own news announcement as a story? This requires an honest look at your business and its relationship with customers and other key stakeholders. Do new business hours or a sale on select goods require an announcement beyond a social media post or a sign hung on your front door? Likely, those two options would suffice. However, if your business is partnering with a nonprofit organization for a community outreach program, creating a press release would be desirable in hopes of generating media interest.
Will the News Affect the Way Your Business Relates to Customers in a Meaningful Way?
The level of impact that your announcement will have on your target audience or your community governs whether or not you should write a press release. If you’re relocating to a shopping center on the other side of town, it may not be worth writing a press release. Instead, you would want to regularly tweet and post on your Facebook page to remind your customers that you are changing locations. For those that visit your location regularly but do not use social media, you could have your employees notify customers through conversation or by hanging a sign on your door with the news. However, if your restaurant is partnering with a nonprofit to put together a charity softball tournament, you may want to inform the local media to gain more interest from members of the community and other nearby businesses that may want to contribute.
Who are Your Stakeholders?
Consider who your primary stakeholders are before constructing your message. Are you working in retail or food service? Your key stakeholders are customers – the patrons whose purchases provide you with revenue. Do you work in the corporate or nonprofit sector? Clients, investors, and benefactors are likely your primary stakeholders.
Before deciding to write a formal press release or news statement, consider the channels your stakeholders use most frequently to interact with your brand. If your largest following and source of audience engagement is your Facebook page, use that platform as your primary mode of communication. Do you work for an organization that is directly involving itself in your community? Writing a formal news release that announces your new outreach program is appropriate in addition to using your own social media. Meet your audience where they prefer to communicate so that they can best digest your messages.
Effort Versus Return
Before writing your next press release, consider the amount of effort spent on creating previous ones and what the returns were on them. Did the local media pick up the story? Did you generate a desirable level of engagement with your audience members and stakeholders? If not, it may be best to move on from the media relations methodology. Conversely, if press releases have proven a successful catalyst for your brand to generate buzz, keep at it! It all boils down to effort versus return. If your social media interaction exponentially outperforms your media relations efforts, concentrate on the channels where you have the most engagement. Regardless, make sure you are constantly sharing news with your followers on social media and are ready to respond appropriately to any questions, comments, or concerns they may direct toward you in the wake of a news announcement.