Critical areas need to align before a press release can work
“We need a press release.”
Well, not so fast.
Surrounding what seems like a simple idea — a press release — is a complicated ecosystem of customers, services and communication strategies, all of which must be measured and evaluated before you invite people to learn more about your company in a press release.
To uncover and understand that ecosystem, here are five questions to ask each time you plan a marketing initiative:
Who are we trying to reach? The answer isn’t “Everyone!” You need to create a strategically narrowed list of target audiences, the people who are mostly likely to be your customers. Stretching out for “everyone” will simply assure your failure to reach the essential prime targets of your communications strategy.
What are our key messages? Once you define the audiences for a particular initiative, you must understand clearly the key messages you’re trying to convey. Determining the target audiences and key messages are the foundation of your message platform each time you communicate.
How’s our digital presence? When addressing prospective customers, they are almost certain to check you out online. What will they find on your website and LinkedIn? Is your presence fresh and current, or tired and out of date? Most important, does your online effort support your key messages?
Do we have the marketing materials we need? Beyond the web, you’ll want the right materials on hand during personal visits. Whether it’s a brochure or infographic, what you leave behind after a meeting should leave the right impression.
Who should get this press release? What media does your target audience read and find credible? Do you know the right contacts at those publications? How can you persuade those contacts on the value of your message to their readers? What are you doing to expand your influential media list?
There are no shortcuts for effective communications. The success of a simple initiative like a press release depends on the development of the supporting ecosystem of key messages, target audiences and appropriate environments for connecting the two.