Our current issue features lots of helpful information to help you plan your trip to the Clean Show in Las Vegas. But what about when you get home? How can you maximize those purchases you made and get even more bang for your money?

Becca Anderson's column showed you how to use Press Releases to let your customers (and potential customers) know about the equipment you purchased -- and, most importantly, WHAT'S IN IT FOR THEM.

We didn't have space in the magazine for a mini-course on writing press releases, but you'll find it below, including examples in Word Documents that you could adapt and put to use for your own needs.

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Are you confused about the actual mechanics of a Press Release, and what you need to have in it? We've broken it down for you, and you can view our little tutorial as either a Microsoft Word file or a PDF.

There are certain elements that appear in every professional press release, and putting them in correctly will tell an editor you know what you're doing, as well. Remember, your press release is sent to the EDITORIAL department of the paper, not the Advertising section. That means that an editor is making a judgment call about whether it's newsworthy, and when/if he'll run it. You have no guarantee it will run, so always back up your publicity campaign with an advertising effort.

The column in our current issue will give you tips on how to make YOUR new newsworthy to a READER (and, therefore, an editor.)

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Now that we've got the basics down, it's time to look at a couple of examples. Here is an example of a press release announcing that you've purchased new equipment -- but the emphasis is on the customer and his/her garments, NOT you and your equipment. "What can you do for ME?" should be the question in your head whenever writing a press release.

You can view this release as either a Word Document or a PDF. It is the same release as the example above, but without all the clutter of our arrows and notes.

Quotes from you might seem self-serving, but you are actually doing two things -- you are humanizing a story about equipment, and you are setting yourself up as an expert in this field. This can pay off later when the editor has a story that involves something to do with cleaning. You just might get a call that puts you in the limelight as his resident expert.

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Introducing a SERVICE, instead of saying you bought equipment, is a little different, so we have a separate example of that here, again viewable as Word Document or PDF.

When introducing a service, it's easier to keep the customer in mind than when talking about new equipment. After all, who did you introduce the service for? Use the opportunity to explain in layman's terms just a bit about why the service is necessary and what it can do for your customers.

Look through the information you picked up at your salesman's booth (you DID pick up ALL the information they had, right?) and look through it for ideas of what to put into your press release. Remember, your customers don't really care how it works, but they want to know it will make their lives easier. If you can position it that way, or let them know that it makes their favorite garments look good, they'll take note.