Press releases can increase economic development prospects

By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on December 20, 2016
Filed under: Blog, Economic Development, Public Relations

Writing a Press Release for Economic Development

Don’t miss a single chance to raise awareness and elevate the importance of your community. Understanding how to write an effective press release only increases your odds of gaining coverage by the media, therefore increasing your prospects.

What’s a Press Release?

A press release is an official document/correspondence of information that is sent to the media. Once reporters, writers or bloggers receive this information they will decide whether they are interested in exploring the topic further in order to write a news story that could appear on TV, in the newspaper, radio or in a magazine.

In the world of economic development and tourism, it’s appropriate to write a press release if you have news to share such as:

  • Grand opening of a business
  • An upcoming event
  • Prestigious award or industry news
  • Community crisis

A press release is definitely a staple item in your public relations and marketing tool kit. It’s important that there is someone on your team able to write this type of document effectively and in some cases, quickly, depending on the urgency of the news.

When to Write a Press Release

  • To inform the public about an upcoming event you are hosting or sponsoring.
  • To inform the public about news that is relevant to your economic development initiatives.
  • An attempt to gain coverage for an event.
  • To try and gain coverage for news from within your company.

These tips and tricks will help you to not only write an effective press release, but one that’s sure to generate follow up from your distribution list.

  1. Be concise and to the point –Your press release is going to land in the inbox among dozens of others, all asking for attention from one reporter. So remember, press releases are meant to be short, and detail the main who, what, when, where, why and how of your story. Your lead sentence should be no longer than 30 words and encapsulate what the rest of the press release will highlight.
  1. Headlines are make-or-break –Your headline is the first thing the person you’re sending the release will read. Many times, the headline is the subject line of an email. There’s a lot at stake. If the headline is lack luster, you’ll lose their attention before they even click open. Once again, keep it short and sweet but remember to pack the punch and really try to grab their attention.
  1. Don’t overdo it – Links and quotes are super helpful, but don’t spend time quoting every person involved and linking to every source the media can use. If they need more information, you can always invite them to follow up with you through an email or phone call.

Your press release can be used to attract the attention of more than the media; it’s also helpful to share information in this format on your company website. You may find that other organizations that support your mission will want to share your news as well. For example, our client, the Maryland Economic Development Association, shares various press releases on its website as a way to keep a pulse on economic development news across the state.

Is your economic development office strapped for manpower and resources? Is it hard to push out your news in a timely manner? To learn more about our marketing and public relations services for economic development offices, visit our website today:

Photo credit:  Bill Selak.  Licensed under CC BY 2.0

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