co Online Press Releases, a Powerful Tool for Your Small Business |

Don’t panic at the words, “press release.” They aren’t difficult to write and they don’t cost a fortune to post. Why bother? Press releases attract attention. Small businesses should announce when they launch a new product, have a major announcement such as opening a branch or a merger, working on a charitable project, or when you’d like to announce a new trade practice that significantly changes the industry. Yes, the world needs to know–starting with the Internet world because now, that’s where press releases are featured first–online.

Before you start sweating, consider that you can use a press release template–and that press releases are only one page long–actually only a few paragraphs. Take a breath now. Check out PRWeb and other online press releases sites to guide you.

What will a press release (sometimes called a news release) get you? Interest. You may get a call from a newspaper or online news site that wants to feature your product or conduct an interview or include you in an article. Your local community wants to know–local TV, radio, and newspapers needs news to fill their pages and airtime. They like featuring businesses in the area.

Start with a great title. Keep it rather short and make it interesting. Use a larger font so it stand out.

Be sure that the title and first paragraph tells what the press release is all about–a summary of the entire thing. If they don’t read any further, would they know what you wanted them to know? The old question– who, what, where and when need to be answered. Press releases aren’t sales copy–so don’t try to make a sale or use jargon that sounds that way. It’s news. It’s a series of statements. Sound professional. Write in third person–so don’t do the “I am announcing.” Speak from a company perspective, “Jenkin’s Tires Announces…”

What’s great about press releases is that you already have many of these components. You can use your logo as the header of the press release. The ending paragraph of your press release is your contact information. The “About the Company” bio you have listed on your website is also used at the end of the press release. Be sure to include contact information–website, phone number, contact person is vital. You want to be contacted, so make it easy.

Your press release can be submitted to the various online PR sites and can range in price from free to quite pricey, so set a budget and decide what’s right for your company and what level of exposure you need. You can also email or fax your press release to television, radio and other media venues.

It’s that easy. Not as big and scary as you thought. Press releases get you in touch with the media–and helps spread the word. You have every right to announce important events, and the media needs your updates. So whether you do it yourself with a template, or pay someone to write a post a press release for you, it’s a powerful tool that can yield big results.