It’s all very well having a gorgeous site with good functionality and lots of lovely things on it, but if no one knows about it it’s rather a waste! (And very unfair on potential customers!) (And potentially quite bad for business….)
So (having emailed all my family and friends and asked them to tell theirs), my current daily task is sending my press release to all the contacts I have amassed in my Press Book, and also applying to various online directories. I have been reliably informed that several things are essential/very helpful when contacting the press:
1. If you can add a couple of photos to your press release it gives a great idea of the feel of your site and is more eyecatching.
2. Find out the name of the person you need to contact and email them directly.
3. Make sure your press release is double spaced.
4. Follow up! Don’t just assume the journalist in question is going to either read or use your press release. (Edit: I’ve recently been told this is a very BAD idea. Confusing! But since calling journalists can be a little bit soul destroying sometimes, I’m tempted to choose this option.)
5. Some people say don’t send it as an attachment, some say it’s fine to. I’m not sure about this one, but I know it looks a lot better separately.
6. Having thoroughly researched your target market and what they read you will know exactly which publications to contact!
7. Don’t forget to give all your contact details.
8. If you don’t want your press release to be used before a certain time, put ‘Embargoed until…….’ at the top.
9. Get someone to check it over for spelling or grammatical errors.
10. There are various websites that enable you to submit your press release for free, and to which journalists come for new information. I haven’t yet tried one and am slightly sceptical because it sounds a bit too easy, but I may well try it anyway and report back.
(This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few things I’ve picked up along the way.)
I’ve also been joining online directories. This is so easy; most of them have a page for submitting your details, or an email contact. Some cost (anything between £10 and £250 as far as I can tell), and some are free. I’ve gone with several ethical/eco/green directories and so far am attached to about three or four. The best thing about this is that most of them are on page one of Google, so even though on my own I’m nowhere near this yet, through the directories I can indirectly benefit from their high ranking.