Most companies know they need to promote their products and services by telling their story to attract customers. Many companies mistakenly believe that advertising and press releases are basically the same thing and can be used interchangeably. However, advertising and press releases have a different focus.
An advertisement is written for your target audience. Your message speaks directly to your audience. With an advertisement, you’re selling your product or service. Since you are paying for the advertisement, you are guaranteed that your message will reach the readers. You can also control the message and the frequency. Some publications will even include a complimentary story to enhance your advertising campaign.
Press releases are targeted to news media journalists asking them to include your story free of charge. There is only so much article space, so journalists are exceptionally selective about which story ideas they choose. A story about how your company supports the community and non-profit organizations is a great press release and reflects positively on your business. When writing a press release, start with the facts: Who was involved? What organization did you support? Where did the event take place? How much money was raised, and why should people be interested in this? Ask yourself, “If I didn’t work for my company, would I be interested in this information?” Show readers how involved your company is in the community.