Do you love the idea of free advertising?
Many small business owners think they would never use a press release because nothing news worthy is happening with their company.
In the spirit of the holidays and strong belief in working smarter, not harder, take this advice: don’t pass up on the opportunity for the free advertising that comes with well-written and timely press releases.
Press Releases are not made up of “breaking news” content. Sometimes you just need to create your own news, knowing that people are interested in what is going on in their community. Especially when you give unique angles on your not-so-every-day small business happenings. But what could you possibly write about?
Holiday Marketing Press Release Ideas
Tie in with current news events.
I don’t know what is going on in your town, but around Sacramento everyone is talking about the Kings and building their new stadium (basketball), or the Drought (brown grass and less crops). But maybe the “Polar Vortex” is all the news is talking about in your area. How can you tie what your business does to what everyone is talking about this holiday? A sale, a product, a service, a contests – how can you connect the dots? Make it easy for media outlets to put your story in the mix.
Adapt a national survey or report for local use.
Did a report just come out that the sale of menorahs nationwide has dropped by 70% but your small menorah warehouse has seen a 200% increase in sales over the same period? Why? That is something the media might like to highlight.
Holiday Event or Fundraiser.
If you are staging or sponsoring a holiday event, write (and submit) a press release that details how this event is special and what people will miss by not attending. Why now? What are the benefits of attending or supporting this event?
Employees Volunteering in the Community.
Always good Public Relations to show your business doing good things in the community. If you plan to stage an impressive show of support, send out a press release before the event to see if a slow news day sends cameras your way to get some video. Even without event coverage, get those smiling employees in shirts with your big company name on them and get photos! Show how your people are making an impact on the community and how proud of them you are. So proud you sent in a well written and correctly formatted press release so the whole world would know.
Sponsoring local programs or events.
When sponsoring a non-profit it is very important to put the emphasis on the non-profit and not on your sponsorship. “ABC Inc. is sponsoring the 14th Annual 100 Bikes for 100 Kids for Foster Kids of America. This amazing program…” and then go on about the program in the press release. If it gets picked up you’ll have plenty of opportunity to plug your company.
Honor an organization or institution.
Do all Veterans get free manicures with a paid pedicure the month of December? Do Job Corps graduates get free resume reviews? Can customers get 10% off their entire purchase by donating two cans of food at your store for the local food pantry? People want to know these things.
Long Term or Retiring Employees.
You need a “Wow” number here, but if this is Sally’s 40th year wrapping Christmas presents in your store or John’s 25th year dressing like a turkey and handing out candy corn at the farmer’s market, that is a great human interest story, especially timely if they will be retiring and it’s the last chance anyone will get to see them. (Just don’t make poor Sally retire to make the story more interesting.)
Visit by a Celebrity.
Obviously anybody TMZ-worthy coming to your store is worth noting. But during the holidays don’t forget about local celebrities and children’s favorites like Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves and reindeer. Uncle Jerry in a $20 suit might not qualify but tying in what you do with a real treat like having a cooking demonstration by Mrs. Claus or letting customers put on an elf costume to take pictures with a life-sized stuffed reindeer are something different to talk about.
Competition or Contest.
Keep it simple and interesting and contest can bring in a lot of foot traffic as well as internet visitors. What is your target market? What do they find entertaining or care about most? Have an ugly sweater contest. A most high school pride contest. An eating competition. A worst gift photo contest. Just make it easy to enter and make sure you deliver the prize as promised and fast – and then promote the heck out of the winners as well.
Submit your Press Release to online press release sites (some paid and some free) but also use the press release as a media alert by sending it to the assignment desk of local television stations and newspapers well in advance of the event or immediately after its conclusion. If your press release is well written and requiring little work (all information and images included) and it can fill up on-air time or space in print easily, you’ll have a greater chance of making it on air or in print.
Questions? Comments? We’d love to hear from you!
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