Category Archives: Press Releases

Ten Ways to Promote Your Business After You’ve Won an Award

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So you’ve won a business award. Congratulations!

After you’re done with the awards ceremony, the handshakes, the acceptance speech, the photo op and the positioning of the trophy on the front desk of your office, remember, the power of that award is yet to be unleashed. Don’t leave the story to be told only to those who enter your office. It’s time to tell the world!

Chances are the organization, non-profit or publication that gave you the award will have some public relations efforts in place. They will probably have a press release prepared and distributed with the names of the winners on it. If you are a sole winner, this may or may not be the case. If you are a winner in a multi-category or multi-tiered competition, the press release will include names of all winners. Whether you are a sole winner or one among many, it is always a good idea to make the investment to do the most important thing you can do…

  1. Issue your own personalized press release. Why should you do this, you ask, if the organization is doing their own press release? For several reasons. First, your own press release allows you to describe your business and include a quote from your president or CEO which helps increase your brand awareness and the award’s significance to your company. Second, you can customize the distribution to the right trade and local publications, which may lead to a feature story or other opportunities. You may or may not be privy to the media list from the awarding organization and many of the outlets may have no meaning for your customers and potential customers. Finally, in some markets, your release may provide a secondary touchpoint for the news. You can never get your name into the press too often!
  1. Announce the award on social media. If you have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even just Linkedin, make the announcement with nice images of the actual award or the company representative receiving the award. As you know, the beauty of social media is its shareability. That’s why social media is a great way to get the word out to the world as quickly as possible.
  1. Announce the Award Internally. It’s important for morale that your employees know they have won an award so they too can spread the news. It’s even a greater morale booster to have a small in-house celebration, which can be as inexpensive as allowing a casual dress day or bringing in donuts or a celebratory cake. The announcement can be made orally or in writing, with a description of the ways the award will be publicized, and of course an invitation for them to share the company social media posts about the accolade.
  1. Add “award winning” to all company descriptions. After they win an award, I tell my clients from that day on, they now have the right to call themselves an “award winning” company. It’s not bragging—it’s a fact, and one that can be used in many occasions to add authority and relevance to the company.
  1. Add to company collateral (stickers). It’s often Murphy’s Law that the day the new brochure rolls off the press, the company wins an award which of course is then not mentioned in the brochure. I often recommend a company produce inexpensive, but tasteful looking stickers that can be affixed to marketing materials like a seal, stating the name of the award.
  1. Add to your email signature. Your email signature is seen daily by scores of people who may not know about your award. Just add a statement that says “winner of the (year) (award name). Be inconspicuous, yet bold.
  1. Consider an advertisement. It’s common for companies to take out an advertisement after they’ve won an award to call attention to their achievement, or to possibly congratulate fellow winners.
  1. Tell clients individually or in company newsletter. Winning an award is a great time to touch base with clients and thank them for their patronage. Some companies even go as far as to make a special direct mail piece card that is an announcement and “out of the blue” show of appreciation for their clients. Announcing it on the company newsletter is another good place, or any other marketing materials that typically hit your clients.
  1. Signage. Right near my home is a car wash that was honored as a “best of” from a local magazine as voted on by the readers. It is a banner that hangs outside, just above the front door. My first thought? Smart. More companies should do that!20150710_134719
  1. Website home page. Finally, an often overlooked but very important place to put your award is on your website home page. A mention, a graphic element, a slider image or banner are all ways to represent the award on your website.

It’s your award so make it count! Can you think of any other ways to publicize your awards? Leave me a comment and let me know!

A PRESS RELEASE WRITER’S CHECKLIST

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Yesterday I co-presented on “The Power of a Press Release” with Bruce Jones at Design & Promote at their offices.   The entrepreneurs and marketing people who were there learned about writing press releases for search engine optimization from Bruce, and using press releases to get into the local media from me.

Press releases do one thing: get your news out to the people who can help spread your message.

Whether you’re writing a release for SEO purposes or pitching a news story to the local media, every press release must contain certain elements to be successful.  Here’s a checklist to make sure your release is ready before you hit the send button.

___NEWS ANGLE  Do  you have a strong news angle with relevance for your target audience?  Typically press releases report a change in your company growth, employees, products or services, achievements or clientele;  announcement of a special event;  or a response to a current event or trend.

___STRONG HEADLINE Does your headline clearly tell what your news is about?  It should be under 10 words or 100 characters (including spaces) if writing for SEO.  Include one primary keyword in the SEO release headline.

___ORIGIN OF NEWS Indicate the community the news originated in with parentheses and dashes at the beginning of the press release.  (ex.: (NAPERVILLE)–).  Doing so helps editors funnel news to the correct location.

___OBJECTIVITY   Editors appreciate “just the facts, ma’am.”  Is the content written objectively or does it read like a sales flyer, extolling the virtues of the company instead of providing relevant information about the news event?  

___CONTENT IN THIRD PERSON  Do not use “you” or “we” anywhere in the text unless it is within a quote.  Use “the company…”   And speaking of quotes…

___AT LEAST ONE QUOTE  Include a quote about the news from a credible source within the company.  Name them and use their title.  When writing a release for SEO, there may be an opportunity within the quote to slip in a keyword without sounding awkward.

___APPROPRIATE LENGTH  Be concise. More words do not always make a stronger release.  Use as many words as you need to tell the story, with a minimum of 250, or one page for a release to the media;  400-500 words for an SEO release.

___INDICATE END OF STORY  Usually done with three hashmarks or the word “–end-“.___

___MEDIA CONTACT  Always list the full media contact information for the person who can speak best about your news including their name, company name, physical address of the company, telephone (including cell), url and email.

___BRIEF COMPANY PROFILE  Shoot for 50-75 words.  For SEO releases include the keywords and a hyperlinked corporate url.

___IMAGE OR MULTI-MEDIA   ALWAYS include an image, even if it’s not too exciting. This helps the media choose your release.  If you do not have an image, share your company logo. For SEO releases, you can often include a video or link to one as well.

___ KEYWORDS  For SEO press releases, make sure you include at least three of your keywords with hyperlinks within the document.

Press releases are the tool to getting your message where you want it to be.  Prepare them carefully, and if you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us.