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What is a Press Release?
A press release is a short, informative article that gives timely information about a product or company. It should be newsworthy, concise and truthful. Always start with an attention-grabbing sentence. This gives the release a better chance of being used by the publication and read by customers.

Why Should I Send Out a Press Release?

Press releases work to your advantage for name recognition, free media placement and informing your customers about new products or developments. By keeping your customers informed, you are building relationships with them. The more they know about your company and products/services, the more comfortable they will be buying from you.

A press release printed in a trade magazine shows off your new products to all of your customers at once and brings your products to the attention of potential customers. Without the publicity generated by a press release, many of these prospects might not become exposed to your products.

What Should My Press Release be About?
Whatever the press release is about, it should have news value. News value means that the subject of the release is relevant to the publication's readers. Some suggestions for topics of news releases are:

  • A new product or product innovation
  • Technological advancements
  • A company promotion
  • A new product that makes your company a leader in the industry
  • Classes or service offerings
  • Personnel changes
  • A press conference/speech announcement
  • An exhibit announcement
  • A contest or give-away announcement
  • Anniversaries
  • Opinions (editorials) on pertinent subjects
  • Goodwill/humanitarian efforts initiated by your company.
When Should I Send Out a Press Release?
The time period that magazines have to receive information before the publication date is called "lead time." In the truck equipment industry, most trade publications have a lead time of two months. So, if you want something published in a January issue, you should send it to the editor by the first week of November.

Suggestions for Information to Include in a Press Release
  • List all features and benefits, note the best selling points of the product.
  • Part(s) number.
  • Is the product available immediately?
  • Where can customers buy the product?
  • Does it come in various shapes/sizes/modifications?
  • Any special attachments available?
  • Does it complement or replace existing product?
  • Describe your company's product/service line and the markets you serve.
Points to Remember
Publications only have a limited amount of free space for press releases.
Publications DO NOT have to use a press release just because you send one. You are not paying for coverage — it is not guaranteed. Your best bet is to make your press release newsworthy and interesting so editors want to use it.
  • Keep the information relevant and convey one message throughout the entire release.
  • Avoid complex or technical words unless they are needed to convey the message — if the audience can't understand it, they won't read it.
  • Whenever possible, attach a color photo or high-resolution photo on disk (at least 300 dpi).
  • Include contact information so the editor can reach you if there's a question.
  • Distribute the release to targeted media.
A press release is an amazingly powerful and free tool to gain publicity for your organisation.
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