Are you searching for a powerful, effective way to promote your practice on a shoe-string budget? Put press releases at the top of your list.
They have two big benefits over advertising:
1. Publications run them for free.
2. They lend you “third-party credibility.” Because press releases are written in third person, they give the impression that a reporter thought your news was worthy of mention. That alone will give you an air of expertise much faster than proclaiming it yourself.
Before a press release gets published, however, an editor has to review it. And editors don’t care about your services. They’re concerned about only one thing: Running news their subscribers want to read.
Follow these five simple press-release tips.
You’ll be poised to generate news editors like. And publish.
Tip #1: Choose Publications That Cater to Your Ideal Client
When it comes to serving the needs of your practice, not all publications are created equal.
Do you specialize in helping moms and their babies release the stress of birth so they can bond better? Then why waste time sending a press release to the local Hog News dedicated to Harley lovers?
Once you develop a profile of your ideal client, look for publications she’s most likely to read. And submit your releases there.
Tip #2: Make Sure Your News Is Worthy
Ever receive junk mail from a company trying to sell you what they have to offer whether you need it or not? Eventually you stop opening those envelopes. And you drop them in the trash instead.
Editors will do the same thing when they’re bombarded with press releases that aren’t worth their readers’ time. And the key word in newsworthy is “new.”
A CranioSacral Therapist in British Columbia recently relocated her practice to a new clinic. I asked if she planned on sending out a press release. “Wow, it hadn’t occurred to me,” she replied.
But opening an office that brings your services to new people is a gift to your community. And when you write it well using these five simple tips, a press release promoting that news is more likely to get accepted.
Tip #3: Use the “So What” Factor Liberally
Even when you’ve got something new to share, that isn’t news enough for an editor to care. You need to show quickly—in the headline and lead paragraph—what your news means for the editor’s readers.
Let’s say you’ve opened a new office yourself. You could start a release by saying, “Mary Brown, CMT, has opened a new CranioSacral Therapy practice in Calgary.”
But ask yourself, “So what? As a reader, why would I care?”
Remember, if a reader doesn’t care about your news, an editor won’t care to run it. That’s why you should always start your release by including how your news enhances the lives of local readers.
Transform a dull, lifeless lead into something that sparks more interest: “More moms and babies will be releasing the stress of birth and bonding better with the help of Mary Brown, CMT, who recently opened a new light-touch therapy practice in Calgary.”
If you were a new mom reading that, wouldn’t you want to know more?
Tip #4: Follow the One-Page Recipe
Here’s the recipe for writing press releases that get published:
Tell the story in the headline and lead paragraph. Put the details in the following paragraph(s). Include a quote from you or someone else that adds interest to the story. And in the last paragraph, give a phone number, e-mail and website address so readers can learn more.
Follow this recipe and keep your release to one page. If an editor thinks it’s worthy of more, she’ll assign a reporter to follow up.
Tip #5: Repeat
Chances are, you have more news happening in your practice than you even realize. Train yourself to look for your own newsworthy angles. And learn to write snappy releases.
Over time, you’ll build mutually beneficial relationships with editors who want to read—and publish—what you send them every time.