Whether you call them press releases, news releases, or media releases, and whether you consider them an “old media” form of communication, here is why your non profit should still be writing press releases.
Simply put, instead of thinking about release as a way of gaining media coverage, think of it as an opportunity to gain media coverage and a valuable piece of marketing material.
- A press release is your message in your words.
- Think Broadly: send it out to print media outlets but don’t stop there (new media).
- Be a Publisher: press releases can help your organization shape your message. Press Releases can also be part of helping your PR strategy being an inbound strategy and not just an outbound strategy. I’ve lost count of the number of interview requests or additional stories that have resulted from a press release published by the organization on their website.
- Create Brand Awareness: You are creating meaningful opportunities to interact with your organization, your content, and often you provide the Press with additional information (through bios, images, and a media kit on your website) that saves them time and energy and more often results in coverage that accurately reflects your organization and activities.
- Makes you Think: In the act of writing a release you will need to think through your message and this will help shape how you frame the story, the product, the idea, and how you talk about your organization in other contexts. This intellectual and practical exercise is a good opportunity to revisit brand voice guidance
When should you send out a press release
While there isn’t a checklist or formula for when a press release should be written and distributed, here are some suggestions for triggering a press release:
- Opening a new office
- Introducing a new partnership
- Promoting/hiring a new executive
- Receiving an award
- Launching a new program
- Restructuring a program resulting in changes to the desired audience or clientele.
A regular flow of (meaningful) news can help your organization or company stand out and build recognition and trust with journalists over time, and press releases can help build those relationships.
Look out for the next post, which will give you practical advice on writing news releases for your non profit and social enterprises.
Speaker. Reader. Thinker. Writer. Traveler. Advocate
Anna Blanch Rabe, founder of Anna Blanch Rabe & Associates, has been working with Social Enterprises, socially-responsible businesses, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations since 2006 to develop and effectively execute strategic, digital, and narrative initiatives to gain exposure, develop community capacity, attract talent, and reach new customers. Anna is an Australian-born speaker, writer and advocate. Connect with Anna on Academia.edu, Instagram, facebook page, & Twitter.