The term ‘press release’ is associated with big business, serious press conferences and major media networks. For some, it may seem like an old school marketing technique. But many small business owners miss that press releases can be a powerful to shine a light on your company, even if you’re not a big player.
How Press Releases Can Benefit Small Businesses
Press releases can catch the media’s eye, increasing your visibility. This will help you connect with more people, and boost your business. If your press releases are well done and effective, they can also help establish your credibility.
But how do you begin? What do you talk about? Will anyone pay attention?
Is there a surefire way to create press releases that interest your audience and journalists?
And how do you share your story with the world?
Insights from Public Relations Expert Mickie Kennedy
In this episode, Mickie Kennedy and I discuss small business PR and how it can help reach a wider audience to ensure growth. He’ll walk us through the process and share press release strategies to get your story out there.
Table of Contents
Timestamps for this week’s episode
04:00 Crafting Effective Press Releases for Small Businesses
07:01 How to get your press releases out in the media
08:40 Creating Compelling Press Release Content
22:16 Steps to Producing and Distributing Press Releases
35:00 The next actionable step that small businesses can take within the next 2 weeks to create effective press releases
Effective Press Releases for Small Businesses
Press releases for smaller companies require creativity, especially since they may not have frequent product launches like bigger players.
With the right strategy, smaller businesses can use press releases to seize media attention and establish authority.
Here are some tips to effectively communicate with the media:
- Identify noteworthy angles
- Crafting quarterly press releases around important developments or industry-related surveys
- Commission a study or survey within your industry and share the results through a press release.
- Highlight surprising findings
- Offer insightful analysis
- Establish your expertise through quotes.
Though your smaller audience size might discourage you, smaller trade associations can help distribute your press release to their members, mutually benefiting both parties.
How to get your press releases out in the media
To effectively distribute your press releases in the media, there are strategic methods to follow.
- Connecting straight with journalists and presenting compelling ideas via emails or calls.
- You may get instant results, but this method demands significant time and effort and doesn’t always yield results.
Using services like eReleases
- Integrates with popular newswire sites
- Make your press release accessible to journalists actively seeking stories.
- Journalists can filter by industry and keywords, streamlining their search for relevant content (hopefully yours).
- Your press release has a bigger chance of reaching journalists who cover topics aligned with your story or industry.
“Media loves data. So if you can take public data that’s out there and package it in the interesting way. That’s another great way to sort of stand out.” — Mickie Kennedy
Creating Compelling Press Release Content
Find your USP to stand out from the competition.
- Origin/Journey story
Share the backstory behind your product, service, or business to engage readers.
- Tailored content
Address the specific needs of your target audience and tailor your press release accordingly.
- Data Insights
Compile public data to deliver valuable insights, to target the media’s love for data-driven stories.
- Contrarian POV
Stand out by challenging industry trends or share your unique perspective that challenges the prevailing narrative of your industry.
- Outside-the-Box Content
Share industry blind spots, challenges, or emerging events that might go unnoticed by larger publications.
Steps to Producing and Distributing Press Releases
Here are the three essential steps for creating and distributing effective press releases:
Press Release Production
Ensure your press release is professionally packaged, usually in the third person. It should be written well, relevant, and resonate with the audience and media. Incorporate first-person quotes to enhance its appeal.
Press Release Distribution
- Directly send the press release to journalists you have established relationships with.
- Explore reputable wire services like eReleases that partner with established newswires such as PR Newswire, Business Wire, and GlobeNewswire, significantly expanding your press release’s potential reach.
Providing Media Support
Once the press release is out, be prepared to interact with the media who might want clarifications or further insights. Being available to address their inquiries is vital. But also manage expectations; media coverage can vary. Some may receive limited or no attention, while others that are compelling will attract extensive media interest.
Consider enrolling in Mickie Kennedy’s free master class.
This hour-long video session, available at ereleases.com/plan, is an invaluable brainstorming platform.
It will help you generate 5 or 6 actionable press release ideas tailored to your business.
If this class sparks your creativity, you’re likely well on your way to leveraging the power of public relations for your small business.
- Smaller businesses can creatively use press releases to capture media attention and establish authority by identifying unique angles, crafting industry-related releases, and collaborating with trade associations.
- To distribute press releases effectively, you can directly pitch to journalists or using services like eReleases with integrated newswires for wider reach.
- Be creative when crafting effective press release content. You can share your story, address your customer’s needs, provide data insights, discuss contrarian viewpoints, and highlight industry blind spots.
- Share effective press releases by producing professional, high-quality content, sending them directly to journalists or using reputable wire services, and potentially interacting with media who might seek clarifications or insights.
- Enroll in Mickie Kennedy’s free master class at ereleases.com/plan to generate 5-6 actionable press release ideas tailored to your business, leveraging the power of PR to ensure small business growth.
Well, hello there, and welcome back to another episode of “Help! My Business is Growing” – a podcast where we explore how to grow and build a business that is healthy and sustainable. I’m your host, Kathy Svetina, a fractional CFO and a founder of NewCastle Finance, a company where we believe that everything that you do in your business will eventually end up in your finances. And to get to healthy finances is to have a healthy business. The question is, how do you get there? Well, the answer to that is to listen to this podcast to help.
Have you ever written a press release for your small business? The answer for that is probably, if you’re like most businesses, no, you haven’t. And if you haven’t, you are not alone, because I haven’t either. And the reason why I haven’t is because the term “press release” brings up all these images of large corporations doling out press releases to major media outlets and hosting press conferences.
But what I learned through this conversation that you’re going to be hearing later is that we, as small business owners, don’t leverage this how we really need to be leveraging it. And we are missing the potential buzz that strategic press releases can create, even for the smallest of companies. Because press releases are not just words – if they are done right, they grab media attention and help you reach wider audiences for future business growth. And of course, they will also fill your revenue too!
So if you’re questioning where do you start, what will you talk about, is anyone even going to be interested in what you have to say? And also, how do you craft press releases that are going to intrigue the journalists and the readers? And once you have that, how do you even get that out there? Well, this is a podcast that is going to answer all those questions.
And as a quick reminder, all of the episodes on this podcast, including this one, come with timestamps for topics that we discuss. Each episode also has its own blog post too, so I encourage you to go read it. And there’s also a transcript of the entire conversation if you want to take a sneak peek at what we’re actually talking about. You can find all the links and the detailed topics in this episode’s show notes. So go check it out.
Today, my guest is Mickie Kennedy. He is the founder and president of eReleases – the small business leader for press release distribution – and a company that is now celebrating 24 years in business. He is an expert at helping small businesses increase their visibility and credibility. And he is here today to share some valuable insights on press releases. Join us!
Hi Mickie, welcome to the show!
Thanks for having me.
Thanks so much for being here. We’re going to talk about something really interesting, which is PR and PR for small businesses.
Right. So PR is a large umbrella that includes a lot of public communication. And so in my realm, it’s communicating with journalists – sending them press releases – but it also can be corporate relations or talking to organizations in your community, like maybe charities or things like that. But it’s basically anything that is about your brand and your company that you’re communicating outward.
Yeah, that’s great. And we’re really going to be focusing on the press releases. So I know when people hear press releases, they think about large companies, large companies doing press releases out to the public, you know, they have a new CEO and you board of directors, whatever it might be. But there’s really not that much connection in terms of press releases for smaller companies. So can we talk a little bit about that? Like, how does that look like in smaller companies?
Right. So for smaller companies, you have to be a little more creative, because you don’t necessarily have like, you know, iPhone coming out every fall or new products and things like that are coming out on a very regular basis. So you have to be creative, and really sort of dig deep as to what it is that you could be communicating to the media. That being said, I think that most small businesses are capable of putting together a quarterly press release on something that they’re doing that’s important, or developing news that could be newsworthy to communicate to the media.
For example, one of the easiest ones that you can do is a survey or study within your industry, and you’d be the author of that survey, and you send it out, you get the results. Then you develop a press release about the big aha moments from the survey, what were the two to four questions that came back that were really surprising, or really unique. And you provide the analysis and the press release as to why you feel that the numbers skewed a particular way, as well as include some quotes, establishing you as the expert communicating about those numbers. And that’s something that anybody can do, it’s just a matter of just asserting yourself and putting yourself out there.
One of the pushbacks I get from clients is, you know, I don’t know who to send it to, I don’t have an audience built in. That’s not large enough. And I always tell people to go search for a smaller or independent trade association within your industry. And just ask them if they’ll send that to their members, it’s usually just a link, like a Survey Monkey link that you send to them. And often they’ll do it if you agree to mention them in the press release that you’ll be issuing over a wire because the smaller and independent trade associations generally don’t get a lot of the media love that the large trade associations do.
I love this example because just yesterday I picked up a local magazine for our community. And it was actually a real estate agent that did this analysis just exactly as you were talking about. She compared the sales of houses in the area, the first half of 2022, compared to the first half of 2023. And it was really interesting, and it was informative. It gave her publicity because now I actually know about this real estate agent, I had no idea who she was before, she was very, very helpful. And it was a piece of information that actually informed not just the media that she was trying to get to, but also the people. So I can definitely see that as being more relevant not just to our place right here in our community, but also other places that we interesting to see.
So I made that connection, as you were talking about, you know, doing your analysis, I thought that that was a good example. So if you are doing let’s say that you’re doing this analysis, and now you have figured out, you know, this, this would probably be helpful to the people that you’re trying to reach, like, how would the process of getting that out into the media look like?
Right? So there are PR firms that do direct pitching, where they sort of build a Rolodex of influential journalists, and they send emails or, and or phone calls directly to those journalists pitching an idea. Sometimes they may include a press release, but often they don’t have to, you know if you can really communicate a paragraph or two, what you feel is compelling to a journalist. That’s generally all you need. But that being said, it’s very time-intensive, and it’s hard. It does not always work. We’re using a service like eReleases which has a press release newswire component, we partner with PR Newswire, which is the oldest and largest newswire in the US. It basically allows it to be available to journalists journalists have to proactively find it. But a lot of journalists do use the wires looking for stories. And the great thing about a wire, like PR Newswire, is when the journalists having a login access, they can go in and look at a customized feed of the press releases that would be relevant to them. It can be by industry. And within that they can also do keyword searches, as well as have filters in place that sort of weed out press releases that they generally wouldn’t cover, like maybe they do cover the fashion industry, but not the, you know, high fashion or anything like that they’re more tailored to you know, typical retail fashion.
So are keywords important? The type of keywords that you’re using for your press releases? Are they important? Are they almost do they always work like an SEO,
They do. So you want to make sure that you naturally use keywords within the press release of that, say a journalist would want to find you. It also makes it when it’s on the web easier for the search engines to identify those keywords. I think the biggest mistake that a lot of people make is they use shorthand. Like when I write blog articles and stuff like that, I often refer to a press release. That’s just a release. And I really am you know, sort of hurting myself by not including press release every mention rather than just shorthand release.
Yeah. So have you noticed like, is there anything exceptionally that works? Well, for press releases, we’ve talked about doing analysis like the in the case of the real estate agents that are given examples for, but is there anything else that you would say works exceptionally well to do a press release that will get picked up by the media?
Right? So there’s several different things. One of them is to sort of look and figure out what your story is. Sometimes it can be what your USP is, or a unique selling proposition what it is that you do that’s different than every other business like yours. And I do challenge people that if they come back to me and say, Oh, we’re just like a reseller like everybody else, but we’re just in this one market, you know, that’s not a great position to be in, you really want to have to find something that’s different. And often, if you question these people, there usually is something that they do that’s really different. Some of them like, oh, we have this big video tutorial database that’s available to our clients, unlike that can really give you an edge over someone else. If they’re just looking based on price, they would probably move more toward you if they found that valuable.
And other things that you can do as far as like your story is, you know, what, what is the story behind this product or service? Or what is the story behind your business, if you look at the people that appear on Shark Tank, one of the things that I see most often is they share their story of how the business came to be. Sometimes it’s just finding a need for a product. But sometimes they share something that they went through. And it could be, you know, inspirational, or it could be an obstacle that they’ve overcome or just a vulnerability. But really having a story, a short story is a really valuable asset. Because journalists are storytellers, they are looking for something to convey to their audience that has an arc to it. And so anything that flushes out your company, or your products in a way that sort of builds into the story makes it a lot more likely that the journalist would cover you, because they naturally would say, Hey, this is the ingredients I need for a story.
One of the types of press releases that I often see at eReleases is a product launch, press release. And it’s usually just here’s a product. And here’s a list of features. And the things that are missing that would make it more compelling and give you the ingredients for building out a story would be a use case study someone who tested the product, what their experience was, what the results were, and also a quote by them in regards to that. So, you know, we use the product, we saw a 70% reduction in our logistics cost. And this is what that meant to us. And here’s a compelling quote. And all of that makes the story with those additional features listed a lot more interesting and more fulfilling of a story arc.
Other ideas. I mean, there’s a lot of them, I go through about 10 ideas. In my free masterclass. It’s a video training on how to basically build strategic types of press releases and avoid the ones that most people do. And it’s available at eReleases.com/plan. P-L-A-N, it’s about an hour-long video is a great place for anybody who’s considering press releases to start. And basically, it will allow you to build an audit of your business of newsworthy types of press releases, you can be doing.
But other ones include anything involving data, we talked about the survey, and you mentioned the data that the real estate person locally had provided. But that’s a really great example that that probably wasn’t their data, they probably just went out and compiled it or found it and put it together in an interesting way. By doing that. They’re the expert behind it. And it allows them to sort of borrow that data and introduce it to the media, the media loves data. So if you can take public data that’s out there and package it in an interesting way. That’s another great way to sort of stand out.
Other things are sometimes researching your industry for blind spots or gaps. And by that I mean, what are the things when you go to a trade association, or a trade conference, actually, and you just sort of sit around the water cooler and talk to them and say, Hey, have you noticed that everybody is taking 60 to 90 days to pay rather than 30 days? Have you been finding that and they’re like, yeah, all of a sudden, that could be potentially something you could do around? Is there a recession of sorts happening within your industry, or some type of event that the trade publications haven’t really identified yet? But often the people that are on the ground are more likely to notice it and share it with colleagues.
Another thing that work really well as being a contrarian. Sometimes there’s a trending thing within your industry. With a lot of people. It’s like going green or being environmental. And a lot of people call that newsjacking when you join the trend. But newsjacking doesn’t really work anymore. There’s too many people trying to all join the same message with the same communication. But if you’re the contrarian, and you raise your hand and say, Hey, here’s the downside, the cons to this, you’re more likely to get picked up because journalists like to have both sides of an argument. And often they go to press with only one side because no one’s raised their hand and said, Hey, here’s some negative things about going green right now in particular, say in relationship to electric cars, the mining of the minerals to make the batteries is sort of hazardous to the environment. And that’s mentioned labor issues. And also we don’t know what we’re going to do With these batteries at the end of their life, as well as addressing, you know, challenges like when a electric car gets in an accident and a fire results, sometimes a fire truck just can’t put the fire out. So all of these are logical ways in which you can introduce something that is against the messaging that other people are providing. And as a result, every time there’s a story on this subject, you could be plugged in there, because you’re the only one raising your hand and saying, the contrarian viewpoint. And there’s a few other ideas like that. But it really does take a little bit more creativity to come up with these types of press releases that are outside the norm. Most press releases are the types that the personnel changes, we get those as a very often type of press release, but they rarely work. If you have an industry veteran that you’ve got to join your board, or you have a new president of the company, yeah, that’s worthy of a press release. But if you have a new associate, you know, director of HR, it’s very likely the only people are going to be interested is local newspaper, and maybe business publication, and a single trade publication. And often you can just reach out to those three publications yourself, and just let them know and be aware of the personnel change rather than pay money to go over a wire like eReleases.
Yeah, these are great examples. Thank you for that. In, you know, I always like to be very specific on this podcast. So let’s say for the sake of it, that you have written a blog post or some type of an article that you have not pitched out to any of the newspapers or anything yet. It’s a contrary or a contrarian article, let’s say in your blog post, and you want to make a press release out of it. So how does that really work? Like, can you walk me through the steps of, I have now let’s say complete the blog posts? Now what happens? How do I get this out there?
Generally, you would package it as a press release. A press release is generally written in the third person, you can have a quote in there that’s written in the first person. So you’re gonna want make sure that you’re fitting the style of a press release. Generally, sometimes articles don’t because you’re usually from your viewpoint. So you may have to tweak that and change it. But once you’ve got the messaging down, and it’s pretty straightforward, it’s not like elevated writing or anything like that, you would either send it out directly yourself to contexts that you know, journalists that you’ve had relationships with, or you’d use a service that includes a wire, like eReleases, which uses PR Newswire in the US, there’s three major wires, Business Wire, PR Newswire, and Globe Newswire, there’s a lot of online places with wire in their names, but they’re not true wires. And they don’t have the reach that those the Big Three do. So I would steer people away from going outside those three.
And then what happens is after the release goes out, you’re looking hopefully, for a journalist to write an article about it, sometimes they will contact you. So there’s always immediate contact in the press release, if they want clarification, or they want to get a different quote than the one that was provided. Or sometimes maybe they want your viewpoint on something that’s related, but not exactly what was in the press release. And they feel like you would be a really good expert to provide that quote. And so you just want to be available to the media, and you’re just hoping that the media picks it up.
Most press releases don’t get a lot of media pickup. At most, it might be one or two places. But if you have a messaging that works really well and communicates something that’s really a high newsworthy factor, like the survey or study, you might see six to 14 articles get produced based off that press release, we did a press release during the pandemic for the dining bond initiative, which was set up during COVID When restaurants were closed down. And it was meant to help restaurants that were closed down during COVID By allowing you to nominate a favorite local restaurant. And then if they were able to get in touch with them, you could pay money that would go directly to the restaurant, it’d be secured through like a dining bond or gift certificate type of arrangement. And it was very short lived. But it was extremely successful. It got over 150 articles, what major publications like The Wall Street Journal in New York Times, ran with it, as well as a lot of small daily newspapers, a lot of food trade publications picked it up. And it generated in excess of $10 million in revenue for restaurants that were closed during that time, all with a single press release.
And so that tells you the potential of using a wire and the leverage opportunity that’s there because if you were a PR firm, it would take you forever to reach out personally and do a pitch to 150 places and then you the likelihood that you would secure 100% success rate would be extremely small. So that’s the real value of a press release. And I think that it did really well because it was positive news during a time of uncertainty and negative news. And also I think that a lot of people didn’t feel like there was anything they could do during that time. And here was something that you could do something that was actionable by you. And I think that that’s why it worked and did so well.
And that’s one of the great opportunities of PR, is the potential to take what would normally cost under $500. And, you know, get $10 million of revenue out of it, that’s very atypical, it doesn’t happen. But it does happen on a lesser degree, quite often for people will put, you know, four to $5,000, in an ongoing PR campaign, doing, you know, eight to 12, press releases, and maybe they get three or four press releases to get several articles about them. And based on that, they get tons of new clients, as well as take those articles when they’re published, and share them with your customers and your leads, and potentially get more of those leads to move over to you.
And the reason that happens is because when people read an article, they don’t read it, like they read an ad, they generally come to it with a more objective open mind rather than, you know, saying, oh, that’s just ad speaking, closing off to it. And it’s one of the reasons that clients will tell me that they see one article brings them three to 400 visitors. And of that they get like 150 to 200 sales. So the conversion rate on that is sometimes as much as half of the people convert. And the reason for that is when we read something journalist writing about a great cool Kickstarter campaign, we feel really great about that. And when we click through, or do a search to find that Kickstarter campaign, we’re invested. And we want to do business with that company, we don’t want to open a new window and see if we can find something similar or try to get cheaper. This third-party corroboration of a journalist writing about you really takes a lot of credibility, and really, you know, sets you apart. And that’s why it’s so effective.
And I think that that’s also why it works so well with your existing leads when you get these articles to share them through email, as well as through social media, so that they can join in, read the article and say, I’ve been thinking about doing business with this company, it was down to me and someone else. And I really think I’m going to lean towards them now based on what I’ve just read.Kathy (host):
Yeah. But let’s go back into, you know, once you have put your press releases, or why, what is the timeframe that you would expect to see any media to pick up your story is it could be immediate, it could be in the next month, it could be in the next week? What is that timeframe that you would say, this is a successful press release versus this completely bombed?
Right. So the shortest I’ve seen is the same day, Wall Street Journal picking up and putting it on their website the same day, generally, they wait till the next day, because they’d like to have the articles online match the print publication. But they I’ve seen them make exceptions, the longest I’ve seen is five, six months out, it generally is if it’s a monthly magazine, like Ink Magazine, it sometimes can be four or five months before the article is produced. We did a press release for a client who got picked up by Ink Magazine. And it was funny, they shared an embarrassing story in the press release that they urged them to do. And that was the leads that Ink Magazine led the article into about this sort of semi-humorous story that I think most entrepreneurs can identify with, which I think is why they lead with it. But it can take a little bit longer. On average, I would say most of your newspapers and trade publications that are say weekly or posting on a regular basis, you might see within the next two to four weeks, and some stuff might just take a little bit longer.
And what is since I deal with finances, one of the things that I always look at is how much is this going to cost us in our costs in terms of obviously there’s cost in producing the type of thing that you want to produce, whether it’s a you know, an analysis, a blog post, or whatever it might be or just a summary of what happened in the business. But how much does that cost to have it be in the wire to be syndicated out to these publications? How does that work?
If you go directly to PR Newswire and you issue a release nationally, paying like 12 to $1,500 on average for the average length press release. If you use a service like eReleases, we have a substantial discount that we get with the wire. So it’s a bit cheaper. The caveat being you have to be a small business, you can’t be like a large corporation trying to do a run around the newswire and pay a cheaper price. But most small companies under $10 million a year of revenue qualifies. And we really don’t have strict qualifications. But if we do see a large company come through, we do steer them directly to the wire, our costs for a new customer, we take 30% off the first release. You can also buy a package with that discount. So you know generally between three to $500 on average is the cost per press release. And with that you could do it series of say, six releases for between two to $3,000. For distribution, there’s also writing, we do offer writing services $300 per press release. But I do challenge most people to try to write them themselves. I feel like it’s something that most people are very capable of doing. They’re not elevated writing. And you don’t have to be like flowy words or anything like that. Sometimes she can be very powerful with your quote, where you really want to be paraphrasing using active verbs and stuff like that. But generally, the journalists are looking for a compelling idea. What’s the headline, you know, that grabs them, not looking for a sensational headline, no puns or anything like that. You just want the facts, and what are the most relevant facts of the press release, you’re not writing for the end user, you’re writing for a busy journalist. So he just wants to see, is relevant for me. So make sure you communicate the big idea right there in the headline, but I do think most people are capable of writing, and you’re welcome to always send a release to our staff, and get our feedback on it, we generally will respond back in two business days or less. And that’s whether you’re a customer of ours or not, we just help people through the process, because we realize that a lot of people are very apprehensive about doing a press release. And we can really guide you there. I also think that you can use AI to help write a good press release, I’ve figured out how to do that, using ChatGPT. And I find that you have to have the idea first, just don’t go to them and say, write a press release on this company. And here’s the company, you really have to have like an about section of what your company is about. And then you have to have the idea and just say it’s a survey or study, here’s the important data. Here’s an interesting quote, now write an opening paragraph, I find if you take it paragraph by paragraph, you get a much better product. And so you sort of have to know what you’re looking for in each paragraph as it builds it. But I feel like it can be a really good tool if you don’t feel like that strong of a writer. And I feel that what ChatGPT writes is very well written for the most part, you just have to verify that everything remains factual because sometimes ChatGPT will incorporate some tall tales into your story or press release. So just be mindful of that.
Yeah, that’s true. It has a mind of its own. So how long should these press releases be? Are we talking about a paragraph two paragraphs? How long are they usually,
So most press releases are between 406 and 100 words, I’ve seen shorter, and I’ve seen longer. And sometimes I’ve seen it appropriate for both. But a lot of people who write really long press releases might be that they’re just a little excessively wordy. It’s completely appropriate to point journalists to your website. So if you have a product page with a lot more features on it, you can certainly include 400 to 600 words, and feel free to link for more information about this product, click here and allow them to go and get those additional resources. Yeah.
And I always like to talk about, like the success story and also fails. And you already gave us a really good success story. But I’m also interested in was there a company that you work with that they did a press release that they thought is going to do exceptionally well, and something went wrong, and it just didn’t go as they attended. Because I noticed that we learned a lot about more from failures than actually from successes. So I’m interested if you have a story like that,
Yeah, so I have a lot of clients come to me, and they get really disappointed because they did a press release, and it didn’t do anything. And to that company, this is the biggest deal to them, this product they’ve labored over, they put so much work into it. And they believe that this product is revolutionary. And for whatever reason, the media didn’t feel that it was newsworthy enough to write about it. And it’s a good time to audit, who is at fault here? Did you not communicate all of the revolutionary things about your product? Or is it that you have emotionally or psychologically invested so much in this product, that it’s so important to you, but it’s probably not outside of a few people in your industry. And sometimes you just have to be a little more real with what’s going on. There are given that there are ways to punch it up. Like if you have a product or solution and it’s a new product or solution you’re really excited about, punch it up with some data and numbers that are out there. So if your product is, say accounting software, or you lead with something like, you know, 12% of all audits are because of a simple math mistake or something to that effect, something that the data correlates to and say, using our service with helps prevent that or catch these things before they happen. And that’s a really great way to sort of anchor it with real data, which makes the journalist feel there’s more of a story something bigger to bite on to hear and write about. I think that you know We’re always surprised when other people don’t find things we find fascinating as much as we do. And I think that it’s just a matter of trying to reverse engineer, how could I make this really compelling for a journalist, I know a journalist is in the business of being a gatekeeper, they determine what is worthy of communicating with their audience. And you have to sort of figure out what would take this and bump it up to another level that they would immediately find it irresistible and want to share it with their audience. And it does take a little bit of creativity, it’s the type of creativity that AI is not going to help you with, it really takes you looking at what you do that’s really unique, honing your story, relying on data as much as possible to beef up your story. And also, you know, taking into account the journalist or story builders, and are you providing all the components that they need? The best types of press releases are the ones that have a villain, I had a carpet company in New Jersey, that did five press releases that did nothing. And they’re just like, we’re never going to get media pickup. And we were just brainstorming, and I asked them who their enemy was thinking it would just be, oh, it’s Joe’s shop on the other side of town. He’s always, you know, undermining us. But no, it was big box home improvement stores. And they said that the big box home improvement stores are their Bane, they said that they generally have a list of contractors, and they just call and say, Hey, we have some work to put carpet down. Are you available? And they don’t ask Have you ever put carpet down all they’re looking for is are you licensed to be a contractor in that state. And it’s why they say they have to come in a lot of times and restrict carpets or fix seems that don’t match and other types of things that are just done wrong installation process. And so we did a press release about that, and how they have to compete against these good multibillion-dollar companies. And it’s frustrating because they know that people are getting an inferior product, and especially the padding is generally not anywhere near as good as you can get from a professional local carpet company. And so we put that together, sent it out, and they got picked up by almost all of the floor trade publications. And they continue to do press releases, talking about marketing because the trade publications came back and said, We love that anything that you’ve got that’s marketing related, our audience is just clamoring for. So we just started pushing out press releases that talked about marketing and how they market against the big guys. And it’s like a David versus Goliath thing. And we just continue to get pickup, they got picked up by local New Jersey newspaper, New Jersey magazine pick them up. But their biggest success was about I think, 20 to 30. Trade publications wrote articles about them. And they use that by compiling it and putting it into what they call a brag book. And they take that every time they give a homeowner a quote, and they tell them that, hey, we’re not necessarily going to be the cheapest, but we do a superior product. And we’re recognized here we are in floor trade weekly. Here we are an article by this company. And we’re going against the big box home improvement stores, which are giving people an inferior product. And they started converting at about 17% More by using that brag book as part of their sales process than before. And you know, that’s really powerful, almost one out of 20 more people want to have five they’re almost that they’re converting that they weren’t converting before and to a small business and these big large jobs. That’s That’s huge. That’s huge money and revenue and profit.
Yeah, I bet you have any numbers associated with like you said they got 17% more close rate, but how about in terms of revenue? How much did that bring in terms of revenue? Do you have any numbers about that?
That I don’t know, because they’re a private company, and they didn’t really share how big they are. I think that they’re worried that show across towns gonna know and, and stuff like that. So sometimes we don’t get all the numbers and things like that. But sometimes you do. But they did share that they were smarter than me because I thought we were doing something wrong at first, because I told him we’re predominantly getting into trade publications. And that’s not where your customers are. And they said no, we’d like it. Just keep going. Just keep keep giving them what they want. Let’s keep giving them the marketing press releases. And in the back they were compiling these things and printing them out color, beautiful color, laser, copier, printer type things and just putting together these these brag books and making sure each of their salesperson has it when they go out to give someone a quote.
I love that. There was definitely a strategy behind that. Sure. So Mickey, thank you so much for being on this podcast. I mean, this was a fascinating talk and it got it. It definitely had my wheels spinning about the potential and how even I can use that in my business. So, but you know, for someone who is listening to this, and they want to start doing these press releases, and they’ve never even maybe they never even thought about it, or they think it’s maybe like an old school way of marketing the business and they want to start doing it, because they now see the value of it. Like what is the next most tangible step that they can take in the next week or two, to start doing these things and to start doing them effectively? What would you recommend?
I would recommend starting with that free masterclass I have it’s the best place to sit there and brainstorm and figure out if you can’t come up with five or six great press release ideas from there, then maybe PR is not going to work for you. But I do think most people who go through that one-hour video masterclass will come away with ideas that are actionable that they could incorporate as press releases for their business. And again, that’s an eReleases.com/plan. P-L-A-N.
Great. Mickie, Is there anywhere else that people can find you except of your website? Are you in social media? Where else can people find you?
Right? So our website eReleases.com. All of our social media are in the lower right of the website. It’s my direct LinkedIn there as well. And feel free to communicate with us. We have chat, we have phone lines, as well as email, and we have no salespeople. So the only people you’ll talk to your editors, the people that would be reviewing your press release, helping you through the process of getting you your release, and working in the proper format to go over the wire.
Awesome. Thank you so much for being on the show.
Oh, thank you.
About guest – Mickie Kennedy
PR Expert, Press Release Ninja, Media Relations Networker
Mickie Kennedy is an expert at helping small businesses, authors, and startups increase their visibility and credibility. 24 years ago, Mickie founded eReleases after realizing that small businesses desperately need a press release service they can afford.
While working in PR. Mickie came face to face with customers that wanted to use press releases due to their effectiveness at bringing in business but could not afford to pay the extremely high startup fees that most agencies charged. Mickie saw an opportunity to help — and eReleases was born.
Mickie created eReleases to give small businesses access to the media and to a national newswire – all with a personal touch. eReleases has grown since then and even works with big names now, but the spirit of Mickie’s original intent has not changed. eReleases delivers personal service and exceptional value to every customer, with every press release, at every price point.
Mickie lives in Baltimore County with his family and two feuding cats. He enjoys British science fiction and acknowledges an unhealthy addiction to diet soda. Mickie holds an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry from George Mason University. He still writes poetry most Monday nights with a group of fellow misfits in Brunswick, Maryland.
About host – Kathy Svetina
Kathy Svetina is a Fractional CFO for growing women-owned businesses with $1M-$10M in annual revenue.
Clients hire her when they’re unsure about what’s going on in their finances, are stressed out by making financial decisions, or need to structure their finances to keep up with their growth.
She solves their nagging money mysteries and builds a financial structure with a tailored financial strategy. That way they can grow in a financially healthy and sustainable way.
Kathy is based in Chicago, IL and works with clients all over the US.