Releases serve more purposes today than they ever have before.
lot of independent agents know what a press release is – many even write them
and distribute their press releases to regional or even national press.
a lot of title insurance professionals don’t necessarily understand, however,
is (a) what the press release is; (b) why it pays to write one; and (c) where
to send it and why.
mighty press release is a 1- to 2-page document that trumpets news. It tells an
audience that something important has happened, usually to a company and why it
is important. There are tactical elements to a press release: who is sending
it; the date it is sent, the geographical place of origin (city and state); the
headline and the body.
best press releases keep it simple: they have three to four paragraphs that
tell what the news is, why that news is important, what that news means to the
company and customers, and a small amount of background on the company sending
the press release. Persons from whom the press release is sent are often
reporters, TV anchors and radio broadcast people have traditionally relied upon
the press release to alert them to news. Today, social media experts also use
press release material to populate social media platforms and to include in
inner-company and outside-company newsletters and other communication vehicles.
press release is actually a celebration of a company. Done right – meaning
well-written, regularly sent press releases – showcase a company’s strengths
and help to tell a company’s story. A new hire, a new product, a company move,
surpassing growth goals – the news is virtually limitless. It need only be true
and told well.
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) says about press releases:
Releases serve more purposes today than they ever have before. They provide valuable SEO for your website, serve as a primary source of information for your investors, and help align your internal teams on critical messages — all while advising the media of important changes and events at your company.
No more boring, text-only content on the latest corporate announcements. The press release today can be an engaging, multimedia experience. This is where you can make a journalist’s job easy and increase your changes of getting coverage by including great B-roll footage, embeddable video and compelling, high-resolution images with your release.
B-roll can be dropped into a press release, as can YouTube links, photos, even
there’s really no need to reinvent the wheel. Go online to a company’s website
that you admire. Look at their press releases usually housed under a
“News” tab. Read it and mimic it (but don’t copy and paste – that
plagiarism, is unethical and opens up potential worlds of trouble).
free to follow the “formula” of a press release and then distribute
to media you want to reach via email. You’ll be surprised when, done regularly
and well, the attention (the good kind) your company ultimately receives.
Building solid relationships with the press is the golden
ticket to getting that story published. Here are few tips to help you become a
trusted member of the media:
Be Mindful of Language Blunders
Spelling counts, as does grammar and professionalism. You’re not sending a text to your best friend, your kid or your mom. One of the biggest pet peeves of journalists is misspellings, text abbreviations (“LMK” in lieu of “Let me know,” for example) and incorrect grammar.
These blunders spell laziness in the mind of a journalist.
Take the time to run a spell check; use Grammarly, on online tool that
essentially proofreads your copy and alerts you to errors; and read your
e-mail, press release or document out loud to ensure that it’s properly
structured and flows with ease.
Don’t Pitch the Wrong journalist
You’ve crafted a thoughtfully researched, compelling, error-free pitch and you’re anxious to see the fruits of your labor in print or on a website or blog with a robust, high-traffic readership.
And then you send it off to a journalist who doesn’t
write—and will never write—about the topic at hand. It’s imperative to do your
research, and that means reading a journalist’s work before you press the “send” button or pick up the phone.
There’s nothing that journalists hate more than receiving
useless information. If you’re going to pitch a writer, make sure it’s someone
who covers the relevant subject matter.
More important: Make sure your pitch is newsworthy. Another
tip: read mastheads of magazines, newspapers and digital sites to determine the
beat of their writers.
Avoid Pitching Stories on Weekends
Unless you know for a fact that the reporter is a weekend writer or editor, avoid sending communication on Saturday and Sunday.
Journalists, like the rest of us, have lives, and it’s
important to respect their time off the clock. Weekend pitching has other
pitfalls: If you send an-mail on a Saturday, and it’s read, the journalist may
well have forgotten it by Monday morning. By then, it’s often buried beneath a
deluge of other pitches.
Every reporter and publication has different
deadlines, but according to a Business
Wire Media Blueprint survey of more than 600 members of the media,
Tuesday morning is typically the best time to pitch a story.
What’s your story? And how do you deepen your story to make it more effective, strategic and competitive? Here are five essential things to look for to deepen your story and make it more compelling:
Your Big Why
Why does your title company exist? Why do you go to work every morning?
Of course, we know you need to make a living, but going deeper than that, what drives you and your company? What is the purpose behind you and the company you lead?
Look for a BIG why (not a small why), something like you believe that home is the most important place on earth or that you believe in homeownership as part of the American Dream.
What you’re trying to do here is demonstrate your sincerity and passion for what you do – and motivate your employees and customers around a unifying cause.
Your Title Company’s Achievements
These have to be highly-valued to be effective. Giving to charity, being in business for 10 years, serving the community, and producing happy customers are not highly valued achievements.
What have you done that is great? Unusual? Look for that.
Your Title Company’s Principles
What matters to you most? What values guide your company’s behaviors?
Pick three and have some wonderful “specific” stories about how your team was influenced by your principles and acted in ways that really helped your clients get ahead.
Your Value Story
Why is your title agency more important, useful and worthwhile to use? What do you offer that other title companies do not? Remember that people assess value on the edges or margins of common offers.
More convenient office locations? 24/7/365 closings anywhere, anytime? Best follow-up? Higher tech? CE classes for REALTORS? E-closings?
Your Reason to Act Now
What bad things could happen to the people who do not use your services? What risks are they taking? What compelling reasons can you give without speaking badly about a specific competitor? Learn to bring these forth.
The competitive reality is that a title company needs to be in continual Story Deepening bringing forth the importance of their products and services, speaking their competitive advantages and superior value to customers and prospects. If you don’t, who will?
Your company has an unlimited supply of stories to share. By incorporating a steady narrative based upon your company’s purpose and guiding principles, you can take advantage of strategic storytelling to gain a competitive edge.