A tremendous way to get free advertising is from the press release. Take a look at your local newspaper and see all the information about grand openings, new sales reps, etc. These are all press releases, written by the same companies being talked about in the articles. It’s the same with the news items in your local business magazine… all press releases written and submitted by the companies being featured.
Here’s the trick, it has to be newsworthy as a rule. Having a sale? The paper will ask you to buy an ad. Recently participate in the Complete Screen Printing Business Course, that’s business news and worthy of the newspaper.
You can get news items printed as often as once a month. Invite the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire Boys and Girls in and let them print their own shirt to take home. “I printed this shirt myself at…” Mom and dad see your name on the shirt and it generates potential business. The kids wear the shirts around town, generating potential business. And you take a picture and submit it to the local paper. “Kids and puppies” always make the paper! That press release will absolutely be printed.
Here’s how it works: Type up a one page news item as if you are a reporter. Don’t say “I did this,” but say, “XYZ Company invited the Boy Scouts…” About three to four paragraphs are common. Do not go on and on for pages, because an editor will have to fix your work and you go to the back of the list. If your press release is “print ready” it will have a much better chance of being published.
At the top of the page have all your contact information just like a business letter. Below that and centered on the page, type “For Immediate Release”. Then, follow with your copy. Include pictures whenever possible, and keep the information newsworthy, not self-promotional. Read your local business pages for examples. Most papers and business magazines invite online submissions so go to their websites and follow their specific directions.
And as a special warning, don’t be upset if your copy is edited before it reaches the paper. It’s the prerogative of the editor and often a result of making your copy fit in the space the editor needs to fill. Be thankful that you made the paper and move forward with your next idea.