Press Releases & Other Communication Tips

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.

Press Releases & Other Communication Tips has been rated 4.9 out of 5 based on 75 ratings and 1 user reviews.
What Can I Do to be More Professional in Meetings?

Handshakes And Eye Contact: Better Client Meetings

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!

  • S tand Up: When a client enters the room, stand up to greet them.
  • Maintain Eye Contact: Don't look around the room; keep your eyes on your client so that they feel you are listening to them.
  • Smile! No one likes a gloomy Gus! Remember to smile frequently.
  • No Wet Fish Shakes: Make sure your handshake is strong and confident, without being overbearing.
  • Do Your Research: Go into a meeting with a client knowing who you're meeting. Visit the client's website to learn as much as you can. This will impress them!
  • Remember Names: Make a mental note of every person you meet, from the receptionist to your potential client. Get business cards to get proper spelling. Use names throughout your meeting (“Well, Jake, if you look at our numbers…”)
  • Take Notes: Make notes on a pad while you're talking if appropriate.
  • Make a Joke: If tension is mounting, throw in a simple joke to lighten the mood.
  • Go in With a Plan: Have an agenda for what you want to discuss in the meeting. If the meeting is headed off track, do your best to steer it back.

How Can I Improve my Phone Etiquette?

Ring Ring! How To Answer The Phone

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:

  • Identify Yourself: When you pick up the phone, identify yourself, rather than the usual “Hello?” While you don't have to give the entire company name as well as your name, answering the phone “This is Bill Sweet” is a professional courtesy. Also when calling others, identify yourself before asking for the person you're trying to reach.
  • Return Calls Quickly: Set a goal for yourself to return all phone calls within a given period, like a day or less. If you don't keep customers waiting, they'll be pleasantly surprised.
  • Speak Clearly: If you're a natural mutterer or speed talker, take a deep breath, sit up straight, and speak clearly and slowly on the phone. It goes a long way.
  • Shut Up: If you be quiet and let your caller do the talking, you'll get more information out of them. People don't like silence, and they'll involuntarily tell you more than they planned on if you give them the opportunity.
  • Leave Short Voice Mails: No one likes listening to 5 minute voice mails. Leave your name and number and a short explanation for your call.

What is RSS?

Feeding Your Readers: RSS

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:

  • Press releases
  • Blog entries Product releases
  • Financial news
  • Announcements of presentations and webcasts
Subscribers to your RSS feed can click on any RSS that interests them and get instant access to your news. Keeping your clients and fans in the know through your RSS feed, and you'll see an increase in sales quickly!

How Can I Write an E-Book?

Instant Author: Writing An E-Book

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:

  • A computer
  • E-book publishing software
  • An idea!
Stick to subjects you know well, and that relate to your business. For instance, if you sell golf clubs, you might write your e-book on how to choose the right club to improve your game. Remember that people who buy e-books want a benefit. Why should they buy your book? What can you teach them that they don't already know?

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!

How Can I Use a Newsletter to Promote my Company?

Communicate With A Newsletter

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:

  • Professional
  • Serious
  • Whimsical
  • Fun
  • Adventurous
Write informative articles (no more than three or four) sprinkled with information about the related services your company can provide. If you are offering a promotion or discount, include that on the front page.

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.

How Can I Use Podcasts?

Promoting Through Podcasts

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!

How Can I Use Blogs for My Business?

Blogging For Business!

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:

  • Let readers know about upcoming product releases
  • Test the market on new product ideas
  • Address customer concerns and issues
  • Present a more personable face to the customer
  • Provide resources for information on the industry
What a blog isn't is a blatant advertisement. It's almost a public service announcement. Sure, you're trying to impress your readers in the hope that they will buy from you, but you're doing so under the guise of providing useful information to the reader.

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!

What Should I NOT Do in Writing for my Business?

5 Mistakes Of DIY Corporate Communications

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.

  1. Grammar mistakes: Nothing is more embarrassing than being called by a client and
    told there are grammar or spelling mistakes on your website. If grammar isn't your strong suit, leave it to the professionals.
  2. Put your audience to sleep: If your product is highly
    technical and you're a tech-head, you may write copy for your website or brochure that is too detailed and boring for the average person. Copy should be entertaining and informative!
  3. Give false information: You run a business, not a research firm, so you may not know where to find solid research to put your product in the spotlight. With inaccurate information, you will run off potential customers, and lose the trust of your current clients.
  4. Look unprofessional: Potential customers are tough critics. If a website or brochure looks amateur, chances are they'll move on and find what they need elsewhere. By doing the work yourself, you discredit your professionalism, which will cost you clients.
  5. Take too much time: Just like anything, if you're not proficient at writing, it will take you longer than you anticipated. That's time you could better spend running your business or generating sales! Pay a professional to do it and free your time for the things you do best.

How Can I Get the Attention of Editors with my Release?

Targeting Editors With Your Release

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?

  1. Target
    Your Editors:
    Press release distribution programs allow you
    to select the channels where you send your release. You can choose categories
    like Medical, Entertainment, Health, and Automotive. Don't be greedy and send
    your release to all. Stick to relevant industries to ensure interest from
  2. Follow
    Editors get hundreds, if not thousands, of press releases each
    day. By following up to see if there is interest in your release, you stay on
    the mind of editors in your industry. Even if they can't accommodate a story on
    your news now, if you stay in touch, they may need you later for a quote or
  3. Send
    Your Release Directly:
    If you feel your release is
    relevant to local news, fax or email a copy to the editor of the section you feel
    it fits best with. While they may not take notice of your story through the
    media channel they use to get news, receiving a copy of the release from you
    with a personal note (followed by a followup phone call) increases the
    likelihood of getting coverage in the media.

What is SEO and What Does It Have to do With My Press Release?

How SEO Increases Your Press Release's Value

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:

  • Dog grooming
  • Pet grooming
  • Dog day care
  • Dog spa
  • Dog grooming Orlando
You don't have to include all the keywords, but if you include a handful, you'll appear more often in the searches for these keywords. Say someone types a search for “dog grooming Orlando.” Your release comes up in the results. She reads the release, visits your website, and immediately schedules an appointment. That's a customer you may not have gotten if you hadn't used SEO!

What Do I Need to Put in a Press Release?

The Nitty Gritty Of A Press Release

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.

How Can I Get my Audience's Attention?

Stop Right There! Capturing Your Audience

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:

  1. Borimax Wins Another Government Contract
  2. Armed with Corn, Borimax and US Army Team Up to Stop Bin Laden
Which one would you read?

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:

  • Use the active voice
  • Use present tense
  • Stick to short, simple words
  • Make positive statements
  • Be specific
  • Leave out exclamation marks and punctuation
  • Don't be “cute”
If you don't get everything you want in your main headline, consider adding a sub-headline that can further quantify your topic. This sub-headline complements the headline above:

Borimax, leading producer of Ethanol in US, wins two-year government contract to fight war on terror

Do I Need a Professional Press Release Writer?

Do I Need a Professional Press Release Writer?

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 a Press Release and How Can I Use Them to Grow my Business?

What Is A Press Release?

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.

How Can I Get Free Advertising?

Free Advertising Through Article Writing

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:

  • Content-driven websites that cover a variety of topics
  • Industry-specific publications and websites
  • Major newspapers and magazines
What to Write About: What do you sell? Sports equipment? Write about the safety of protective sports gear. Are you a lawyer? Write articles on issues you are frequently asked about. The idea is not to write a 400-word advertisement (in fact, this is a good way to get booted off these article sites). It's to offer information to an audience, who hopefully will be so interested they'll visit your website to learn more about what you do.

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!

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Entrepreneur Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Carma Spence-Pothitt