Read these 15 Press Releases & Other Communication Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Entrepreneur tips and hundreds of other topics.
Communication comes in all forms. It's not limited to the written word. How you communicate in your meetings with clients reflects your business and level of professionalism. Here are some tips to make sure you are a confident communicator!
You may go days without having to talk to a client or contact on the phone, using instead email and instant messaging. Have we forgotten our phone etiquette? Here are a few tips to make sure you communicate professionally and effectively on the telephone:
If your business generates a lot of news, be it in press releases, blogs or speaking engagements, you may benefit from an RSS feed.
What's RSS? RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. You've probably seen a short sentence at the top of websites you've visited that include a link for more information on the headline. That's RSS.
Essentially, RSS serves as a teaser to get readers interested in finding out more about news or an announcement. You can either have your RSS stream into a larger RSS feed, reaching a larger audience, or post your RSS on your site. Regular visitors to your website can subscribe to your RSS feed and get instant notification of product announcements, financial results, and press releases as you post them.
What Should Go into my RSS? Any sort of information that you consider news or relevant to your readers can go into your RSS feed. That includes:
Today, becoming an author is super simple. Anyone can do it!
E-books are electronic books that range in length and topic. They are usually sold (some are free) and downloaded online. Because there is no printing involved, readers have instant access to the book, and can save it on their personal computers.
So what does that mean for you, an entrepreneur? Unless you're known in your industry, you could stand a little publicity. E-books are a great way to become a known expert in your field. And if you can make a little money from the sales of your e-books, so much the better!
To get started, all you need is:
Once you have your book written and presentable, it's ready to sell! There are websites that help you promote the sale of your e-book for a modest commission. You can also post the book on your website and send emails promoting the book to your current client database.
Once you've written a few books, people will start considering you an authority in your field!
Newsletters are great in that they're informative, useful, and keep your business in front of potential customers. Whether you decide to do a print newsletter or electronic version, make sure your newsletter is well written, has an interesting design, and has contact information for you and your company. Print: Print newsletters have been around for a long time. While they are more costly than their electronic counterparts, print newsletters can be more effective because they are tangible and attractive.
You can customize your newsletter to be as professional and polished as you want it to be. Have an expert graphic artist design your newsletter to reflect your company's personality. Consider what characteristics you want to portray:
Who do you send it to? You should have a database of current clients as well as potential customers. Whenever you get a business card, enter the contact info into your database to increase your exposure.
Electronic: Today, more and more businesses elect to send their newsletter via email or post it on their websites. It's fast and affordable to do so. You'll have to modify your design to suit the electronic format, but you can include the same elements you would in a print version.
The exciting thing about living in this day and age is that technology is always changing and providing new and wonderful ways to communicate. Podcasts are popular forms of promotion today, and you should consider hosting one on your own website to reach a wider audience.
What is a Podcast? Podcasts are digital audio files that can be played on a computer, a phone, or MP3 player. They are usually talk show-style recordings on a given topic, and are informative in nature. People can subscribe to regular podcasts and download them daily, weekly, or monthly.
Your podcast should cover a topic that people are interested in,
that relates to your industry. If you own a bookstore, your podcast could cover a different book each week. At the end of each session, you can plug your own company and provide your website or location so that listeners who are interested in learning more can contact you.
People like to choose how they digest their media. By staying on
the latest innovations, you can capture the part of your market that uses technology as a tool in its daily life. Listeners will be impressed with your adaptation to technology, and will want to spend their dollars with you!
Despite what you think, blogs are not just for teenagers. They're effective communication tools that can help you promote your business and better understand your customers.
What's a Blog? A blog, or weblog, is a journal-style series of posts on a website. They're casual in nature, and readers can often post responses or comments to your blog posts. Businesses use them to:
There's nothing worse for your business than bad publicity. If you have customers that are complaining about the features of a recent product release on web forums and chat rooms, don't sweep it under the rug. Address the issue in public, through your blog, and you'll get the respect of all your readers. You may be able to explain the reason behind some of the changes you've implemented and soothe ruffled feathers!
If you're like a lot of entrepreneurs, you truly believe you can
do everything. What can be so hard about writing copy for your website or brochures? While you may be a great writer, chances are you're better at something
else. Here are 5 mistakes you may make if you don't hire a professional.
Ever feel like your press release goes off into a black hole? Guess what? It
does. So how can you ensure that relevant editors read your release and
consider it for a feature or additional coverage?
In the ever-changing technology landscape of today, it's not enough to write a newsworthy press release. Search engine optimization can help get your release to the top of the search engines, which means more eyes see your release.
Definition: First, a quick review of SEO. Search engine optimization is the process of increasing traffic to a website with the use of heavily searched keywords. Everyone searches for content differently, but SEO takes the most used keywords and inserts them into text or a website to generate better results.
SEO's Role in my Release: Let's say you want to distribute a press release about the grand opening of your doggie spa located in Orlando. Some keywords you might want to include in your release are:
Who. What. When. Where. Why. How.
Does that take you back to fifth grade? These six little words are
extremely important for your business's public relations campaign. They're the fundamentals of a good press release.
Remember that a press release should be short and to the point. A
reader should get everything he needs in the first paragraph (including who, what, when, where, why and how), and the meat should come from the rest.
Who is the business making the announcement? What do they do? Give
a brief overview of your company, including a single sentence that describes what service or product you provide.
What: What is the news? If you won a government contract, don't use
flowery language to say so. Just say it.
When: When did the news occur, or when will it happen in the future? If your news is a special event, make sure you include the date and time of the event so interested readers can attend.
Where: You'll include your business' location in the date line of your press release.
August 7, 2007 – Washington DC
If this sufficiently covers the “where” of the news, that's fine.
However, if the news is about your company's participation in a semiconductor conference in China, focus on China in the copy.
Why: Why is this news relevant? Why do readers care about your recent
donation to the Humane Society? Make the news have purpose so that it doesn't get lost in the sea of press releases that go out daily.
How: How is this news happening? If you're investing one million
dollars into a college scholarship fund, but forget to mention you got the money from a research grant your company won, the news falls flat. Keep it interesting as much as possible.
There are literally thousands of press releases that go out every day, just in the US. A press release's shelf life is relatively short, and after a day, the likelihood is great that your release won't be read. So how do you make the most of this single day of visibility?
A release with a strong and interesting headline is more likely to be read than one with a boring headline. See for yourself:
A headline is a teaser. It provides just enough information that the reader wants to know more. Take a look in your newspaper or online news sites. You see the headlines that get your attention, and you want to read more.
Here are tips to writing an eye-catching headline for your release:
Borimax, leading producer of Ethanol in US, wins two-year government contract to fight war on terror
Unless you're a writer yourself, and know the press release writing style, the answer is yes, you do need a professional press release writer.
While writing a press release seems simple enough, a professional can ensure your release is distributed to major news sources like MSN, Google, and Yahoo. A professional writer can also provide search engine optimization of your release using keywords.
Your options for working with a press release writer include hiring a consultant or freelance writer, or hiring someone in-house to do the work.
If your business puts out many press releases each week or month,
you may be able to work with a freelance writer that can offer the
availability you need to put releases out on a short notice. You may be better off hiring an employee that can write and distribute press releases as part of his duties at your company.
A press release written by a professional and distributed through
major media networks will cost anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars, depending on where you want it distributed. Local or metro distribution is the most affordable option, and is a good choice if your company works primarily in the local area. However, if you work with clients all over the country or world, a national or international release may be the only way to make the kind of splash you need.
What is press releases? Why should my company use them? How can
press releases help me?
If you read the news regularly, you've probably read a press
release without realizing it. Most of the news you read comes from a press release.
Press releases are effective methods of spreading the word about
your company, resulting in more traffic on your website and more customers! Essentially, they are little news bites. Your release may be about your brand new company, new website recently launched, major customer signed on, new product, or anything else that the general public may find newsworthy.
You'll note a recurring theme: NEW. Some companies try to generate
a buzz by rewriting old news or an opinion (Lazertek's Machines are the Best in the Industry!). Unless someone gave you an award for being the best, no one cares about your own opinion of your product.
Press releases are written by professional press release writers,
and are usually 400 words or less. They are distributed through a distribution service and sent to thousands of websites, TV and radio stations, magazines, and newspapers. The websites usually post the release immediately. The other media sources, however, are not guaranteed to publish or mention your news unless they find it extremely newsworthy or relevant to their local market.
If it's relevant news, a reporter may follow up to get additional
information from you regarding the news. If there are industry specific trade journals in your field, make sure they get the release, as they are more likely to cover your news.
So you're a small business with no marketing budget. Think you don't stand a chance of success? You're wrong. By using effective and free techniques, you can market your company effortlessly and generate new business! By writing and publishing articles on topics in your industry, you can effectively boost your credibility as an expert in your field and get some free advertising for your business!
Places where you may be able to publish articles include:
No matter what you sell, you likely have dozens of competitors. By writing articles and becoming an expert in your industry, you set yourself apart from the rest. Once your name becomes known, you will get referral upon referral for new business!