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Communicating your business is imperative to your target audience. One of the most effective methods to do this is to use a press release which gives you the platform to tell the public what you are about and what you have to offer.
Understanding the gist of a press release
Basically, you provide a press release when you want to communicate certain information to your target audience and the general public. You can use a press release to tell people about:
- A new product or service
- An upcoming event or something happening
- Clarification of an issue or an apology
The communication is designed to be a written communication in a report form. This is one of the most common methods used by most corporations and companies, more notably public listed companies.
Who reports it?
The Press Release, known in short as PR is usually reported by the company itself. In some cases, they employ a professional marketing communication company to do this. However, putting out a press release does not mean that the media will go all out to release it. They will evaluate if the PR is news-worthy before doing so. After all, they need to ensure that there are interests in their readers. With the introduction of social media and RSS, PRs have become a lot more challenging especially in Malaysia.
Objective and Types of Press Releases
Generally, PRs are designed to be used in 2 ways. The first type is made for ‘immediate release’ which means that they will be available for anyone to use at any time. In other words, the PR can be picked up by any media, any blog or any social network and published. The other type of PR is designed only for certain media sources. News is news, PR is PR. There a strong distinction between the two. A piece of a news article is used only for reporting and information. A PR meanwhile is used for:
- Disseminate the information to the media so as to create more awareness of an event or a product launch
- Disseminate information to the public about what your business does. This is hoping that the media will like the story in the PR and then write and publish something on you
- To provide direct readership
Press Releases in Malaysia
In most cases, you will send your PRs to the media on various channels. This could be to the newspapers like Berita Harian, The Star, Sin Chew Jit Poh and such. When you do this, it is entirely up to the media owner to decide whether your PR will be reported. In order for this to happen, you will need to have a good working relationship with the media owner. After all, your PR is a free marketing tool that does not require much cost. However, this does not guarantee any success to your marketing campaign although the PR is part of your efforts.
Using Press Releases for Marketing
As mentioned, using PRs can only be effective if you know how to maximize its functions. PRs can be used at most times but they might not be the sole engine to drive your campaign. In fact, PRs would be perfect if your campaign involves integration of other media. This can only be done if you have a carefully planned and executed marketing plan. Using traditional media would be a start but you must incorporate the use of social media and key influences (KI) so that your event or product launch could gain the traction needed.