Thursday, May 28, 2009

Press Releases - How To Guide

Press Releases stir up interest in your business and are FREE! They are easy to pull together once you have the format down.

How to create a press release:
• Headline that conveys the topic and grabs attention
• Body Copy - relevant info that fits on one page
• Communicate the who, what, when, where and why
• Add in the extras – pictures, website links, social network sites
• Include company and contact info

Topics to write about :

1) Makeovers
Everyone loves makeover stories! Ask your clients to participate at their next appointment or host an event with a theme. Some ideas: Professional Makeovers to slam dunk your next interview, New Mommy Makeovers, From Granny to Glam. Take before and after shoots and include them with your release.

2) Cause Related Events
Aligning your business to a charity helps a worthy cause and improves your business image. Choose a charity or event you can rally around. Do a breast cancer awareness walk, join the cut-it-out domestic abuse cause, or locks of love. Take pictures of all your activities, add info on your website, promote your charity in your business and with clients.

3) Seasonal Themes
From brides, dads, grads, Christmas and beyond - holidays are excellent events to create excitement and to build promotions around. Host events for new grads, hold VIP days with discounted services for moms on Mother’s Day, or organize a toy drive for holiday season. The more creative the better!

4) Trends
Most beauty businesses are seen as trend setters. You know what is fashionable and looks good. Share your trend info on hot looks for summer, latest bridal hairstyles, men’s cut etc. Become a resource and people will flock for your feedback.

5) Contests
Any contest drives response. Contests can be anything -- Cutest Kid, Ugliest Pet or Best Salon Product. Post entries in your salon to create excitement. Reach out to your community to pick the winner. Offer the winner a gift card for your services, free products or a night out in your town.

6) Timely Topics
During certain time periods, people can’t get enough of some stories. Is your business involved in going green? Talk up your earth friendly efforts. Or are you taking swine flu precautions? Write up what your business is doing to keep clients safe. Stories on point with media blitzes will get editor attention.

7) Staff Updates
Staff promotions can make great PR. Moving to a master stylist or hiring a new Salon Director is newsworthy. It acknowledges your staff member and could drive more business in your door. Include a head shot photo with your release.

8) Unique Product or Service
New products or services can be newsworthy but they need to be unique. Just because you now offer a mini mani-pedi doesn’t get editors jumping to print. If you rolled out a new private label line that is completely organic and 20% of proceeds go to a village in South America, that you will get some interest. Did you launch a new lunch hour spa service that gets the client in and out in 40 minutes? The item has to stand out from the rest to make it meaningful.

Hope this has your creative juices flowing! I recommend creating a template for all your releases. Then just plug in your newsworthy info. The goal is to make your releases easy to read and meaningful for the recipient. Once you complete the release, send to your local newspaper, community news, tv stations or radio shows. Call or email the source to find out the correct contact. PR is a free way to get everyone buzzing about your business. Dive it and try it today!

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