PR Primer for Small Business Owners

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This short course will help small business owners identify what news to share and how to share it using a public relations strategy.

This short course will help small business owners identify what news to share and how to share it using a public relations strategy.

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  • 1. Public Relations Primer For Small Business Owners Denise O’Berry
  • 2. Welcome!
    • I’m Denise O’Berry and I’ll be your guide as you go through this course. I’ve worked with many small business owners over the years and each of them have started out asking, “What’s public relations?” You might be asking the same question.
    • In this short course, I’ll answer that question and give you a quick start to using public relations to get the word out about your company.
  • 3. Public Relations Primer Contents
    • Public Relations As A Marketing Strategy
    • How Can My “Little” Business Be News?
    • How Do I Write A News Release?
    • Sample News Releases
    • Your Turn
    • Where Do I Send My Release?
  • 4. Public Relations As A Marketing Strategy
    • Simply put, public relations is a marketing strategy that can propel your business forward faster than even the best advertising.
    • The keys to getting good press are building relationships with reporters and editors, sending news, and consistently sending out messages – building good public relations.
    • Do you read the newspaper or listen to the news? Most of that news began as a news release as part of a public relations strategy. Surprised?
  • 5. How Can My “Little” Business Be News?
    • Very Easy…
    • You’ve got lots of news to share about your business, you just need to have the right mindset to discover it.
    • Ready?
  • 6. My Business In The News
    • Take out a piece of paper and pen.
    • Write “My Business News Is…” at the top of the page.
    • Take five minutes and brainstorm what’s been happening in your business in the last month. Just make a list as quickly as you can.
    • Go ahead – I’ll wait…
  • 7. My Business In The News
    • So how did you do? You should have been able to come up with at least 25
    • items about your business. Maybe a list to work from would help.
    • 50 Reasons To Issue
    • A News Release
  • 8. My Business In The News
    • Compare your brainstormed list to the 50 items in the “50 Reasons” PDF file. Are there any similarities? Do you see any items on that list that make you say, “Oh yea, my business did that!”
    • That’s how easy it is to come up with news release ideas. Now set the list aside and we’ll move on to what you will do with that list.
  • 9. How Do I Write A News Release?
    • Writing a news release is pretty straight forward.
    • Three things to remember
      • 1. Your news release is not advertising.
      • 2. You have about ten seconds to grab the reader.
      • 3. Your news release is not about you.
  • 10. How Do I Write A News Release?
    • There are six basic elements that every press release should have in terms of content and appearance.
            • For Immediate Release
            • Contact Information
            • Headline
            • Date
            • Lead Paragraph
            • Text
  • 11. How Do I Write A News Release?
    • Okay, so let’s define each of those six elements so you know what goes where.
    • Item #1: For Immediate Release
    • These words should appear in the upper left-hand margin of your release. Some experts say you should capitalize every letter. I’ve found that’s not critical. If your release date should be some date in the future, indicate for release on that specific date.
  • 12. How Do I Write A News Release?
    • Item #2: Contact Information
    • Skip a line or two after your release statement and list the contact name and title of the person who is the expert for this release, plus your telephone number, company name and an email address.
  • 13. How Do I Write A News Release?
    • Item #3: Headline
    • Skip two lines after your contact information and use boldface , underline or ALL CAPS type for your headline. Your headline should be informative, not full of hype.
  • 14. How Do I Write A News Release?
    • Item #4: Date
    • The information identified in this spot is the city your press release is issued from and the date you are sending our your release.
  • 15. How Do I Write A News Release?
    • Item #5: Lead Paragraph
    • The first paragraph needs to grab the reader’s attention and should contain the information relevant to your message such as the five W's – who, what, when, where, why . The first ten words of this paragraph will make the difference between a news release that is read and one that is thrown away.
  • 16. How Do I Write A News Release?
    • Item #6: Text
    • This is the main body of your press release where your message should fully develop. Make it easy for the reporter to do his / her job. Deal with the facts and avoid excessive use of company lingo and fancy language.
  • 17. How Do I Write A News Release?
    • That’s it! Yes, it really is that easy.
    • If you’d like a printed template to work from, you can download the News Release Template.
  • 18. Sample News Releases
    • One of the best ways to learn is by studying other news releases. I place all of my news on my web site once it’s been published. You can hop on over there to take a look at some samples. It’s at
  • 19. Sample News Releases
    • Let’s dissect the second release titled New Blog Directory Just for Small Business
    • Here’s the first paragraph.
    • (PRWEB) June 24, 2005 -- According to a recent Business Week story, there are roughly 9 million blogs available on the internet, with 40,000 new ones popping up each day. And a Pew Research Center Survey says 27% of Internet users in America read them. For small business owners that means it's tough to get noticed in the crowd of blogs growing by leaps and bounds every single day. That's why the Small Business Blog Directory - was born.
    Before you go to the next slide , take a piece of paper and identify what the five Ws are in this first paragraph of this release.
  • 20. Sample News Releases
    • Here Are The Five W’s In This Release
    • Who – Small Business Owners
    • What – Small Business Blog Directory
    • When – Now
    • Where – On the internet
    • Why – T ough to get noticed in the crowd
    • How did you do?
  • 21. Sample News Releases
    • See how easy that was?
    • That’s all you have to do. This news release was picked up by both local and national newspapers.
    • Yours can be too. Just follow the formula on the News Release Template and you’ll create some winners. If you need more practice, feel free to dissect the rest of the news release on my web page.
  • 22. Your Turn
    • Time to write your news release.
    • Take that brainstormed list of topics you created a little while ago, pick one of the topics, and using the News Release Template , write your news release .
    • Bingo! You’re done.
  • 23. Where Do I Send My Release?
    • Well, that depends.
    • What you’ll need to do is identify those publications and reporters who write about your type of news . It will take you a little leg work, but the time spent will be worth it because you will be targeting your release to the people who have the means to use it.
    • So spend some time finding that list of people and publications before you’re ready to send your first release. You can find places on the internet by searching press release distribution .
  • 24. You’re Done!
    • I hope this short course has been helpful to you.
    • Feel free to email me at [email_address] with any questions you have. (I’d love to hear about your success too!)
    • You’re also invited to visit me at my Just For Small Business Blog at
    • And you can follow me on twitter at