One essential form of marketing to always have in your marketing toolkit is knowing how to create a good press release. When done right, press releases result in better awareness of your orthodontic practice while keeping your customer base informed. Writing an effective press release requires combining the right elements together.
What Is a Press Release?
Whenever there is a significant development in any company, they can distribute it to the media who will hopefully pick up the story and circulate it. For orthodontic practices, press releases can be an effective way to build brand awareness in their community. When any publication publishes your press release, you essentially get free publicity for your practice.
When to Send a Press Release
For your press release to gain attention from any media outlets, you’ll need to make sure your announcement is engaging. Press releases should be reserved for actual updates in your practice, not just when you need to gain more business. That being said, whenever something significant does happen with your practice, you should send out a press release.
Some common reasons to send out press releases include partnering with a respected local business, holding or participating in a special event, or winning an award. Perhaps your office is holding a unique contest or started offering an innovative service. If your office moves to a new location or expands to multiple locations, an event such as this would definitely warrant a press release.
Local media outlets are always looking for stories to cover, so don’t be shy when it comes to sending out a press release for significant events happening with your practice. Keep track of all the publications in town you could possibly send updates to so you don’t miss out on good exposure. The best practice is to maintain a spreadsheet of all the local media outlets and their contact information. Each media outlet also tends to have their own guidelines for submission that should be researched and included in your spreadsheet. You may also want to track who shares your news so you can thank them and send them future releases.
Writing Your Press Release
Press releases are concise, usually consisting of only a few short paragraphs. Each sentence should have a specific purpose and clearly lay out information that will fill the reader in on exactly what’s happening. You should also include a couple of quotes to make your press release more dynamic and personal. Here is how a good press release should be written:
Headline: Create an attention-grabbing and informative headline (“Bob’s Orthodontics Proudly Unveils its New Location”). Somewhere near the headline, either before or after, be sure to either write “For Immediate Release” or the date you would like your press release to be published.
Contact Info: Include your email, phone number, and your name.
Summary Bullet Points: Include some bullet points for each main point of your press release.
Intro Paragraph: Introduce the most important information about your announcement.
Second Paragraph: Include supplemental details, possibly a quote.
Third Paragraph: Include the least important information here, but something that is still interesting to read. This section is also a good place for a quote.
Boilerplate: Attach the boilerplate of your orthodontic practice, which should include a brief manifesto, history of your practice, and information about your location and service area.
When you are happy with the press release you have drafted, send out emails to your local news outlets with the document embedded as part of the content and a short message describing your press release. It is also important to send a photo or two so the contact doesn’t have to reach to you to get them. Feel free to follow up by phone if you do not see your news on their site or in their publication within a few days.
By mastering press releases, you can keep your consumer base informed and make great strides in building awareness of your practice without any monetary investment.