Press Release Power: How Small Businesses Can Boost Their Media Presence

Press Release Strategies for Small Businesses

Explore the power of press releases for small businesses with expert insights from Mickie Kennedy, founder of E-Releases. Learn how to craft newsworthy content, leverage media connections, and maximize the impact of your press releases. Discover strategies to gain earned media coverage and boost your brand's visibility in this comprehensive guide.

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Mickie Kennedy, founder of E-Releases, shares expert insights on press release strategies for small businesses.
Learn how to craft newsworthy content and maximize the impact of your press releases.

In today's fast-paced digital world, small businesses often struggle to get the media attention they deserve. However, one powerful tool that can help level the playing field is the humble press release. Mickie Kennedy, founder of E-Releases, has been helping small businesses harness the power of press releases since 1998. In a recent interview on the Software Spotlight podcast, Kennedy shared his expertise on how small businesses can use press releases to boost their media presence and grow their brand.

The Evolution of Press Releases

When Kennedy started E-Releases in 1998, the landscape of media communication was vastly different. “I was, had previously worked sending out releases, mostly through fax, to journalists,” Kennedy recalls. As email began to gain popularity, he saw an opportunity to revolutionize how businesses communicated with the media.

“I reached out to journalists and asked if I could send them releases on their industry and topic,” Kennedy explains. Over time, he built a database of around 10,000 journalists, laying the foundation for what would become E-Releases.

The Power of Press Releases for Small Businesses

One of the key advantages of press releases for small businesses is their ability to generate earned media. Unlike paid advertising, earned media carries a higher level of credibility and trust with audiences. Kennedy emphasizes this point, stating, “I do tell people that one of the best benefits of earned media is just bringing new leads and also new customers.”

The impact of earned media can be significant. Kennedy shares a success story: “I saw one guy who was in the waste management… As a result of that press release that got one article in a trade publication… A company, no, a municipality in Australia reached out to us and we're now building three facilities in Australia. And he says, it's over $30 million involved here.”

Crafting Newsworthy Press Releases

Not all press releases are created equal. To maximize the chances of getting media attention, Kennedy advises focusing on creating truly newsworthy content. Here are some key strategies:

  1. Tell a Story

Journalists love story arcs, and incorporating a compelling narrative into your press release can significantly increase its appeal. Kennedy suggests, “Take what's important to you and go around in your business. That's a milestone and look at it and figure out what are ways that I can make it more of a story and more likely to fulfill a story arc for a journalist.”

  1. Include Human Interest Elements

Adding personal anecdotes or human interest elements can make your press release more relatable and engaging. Kennedy shares an example: “I had a client who talked about how many years ago when they were starting out their Thanksgiving was ruined because they got a whole lot of activity from some media… That became the opening to their article in Ink magazine, a two-page article.”

  1. Provide Valuable Data

Conducting surveys or studies in your industry can be a powerful way to generate newsworthy content. Kennedy explains, “Do a survey or study in your industry or your vertical space and, you know, get those numbers. You don't have to have a Rolodex of people to send a survey out. All you have to do is partner with a trade association in that vertical or industry.”

  1. Take a Contrarian Viewpoint

Standing out from the crowd can sometimes mean taking a contrarian stance on industry trends. Kennedy advises, “If there's a position that you can take that will not alienate you with your customer base, I feel like, you know, take it, show some of the downsides of certain trends in your industry, and just discuss them effectively.”

Maximizing the Impact of Your Press Releases

Once you've crafted a newsworthy press release, there are several strategies you can employ to maximize its impact:

  1. Use a Newswire Service

Kennedy emphasizes the importance of using a reputable newswire service to distribute your press releases. This can significantly increase your reach and the likelihood of getting picked up by journalists.

  1. Include Multimedia Elements

Adding photos, infographics, or other visual elements to your press release can increase engagement and the likelihood of it being picked up by media outlets. Kennedy notes, “Having multimedia right now is really important because most news sources, even your online print newspapers have an online component and they know that when there's a photo that they can use as well.”

  1. Follow Up and Track Results

After sending out a press release, it's crucial to track its performance and follow up on any media coverage. Kennedy suggests using Google News and Google Web searches to find articles that may have been inspired by your press release.

  1. Leverage Earned Media

When you do get media coverage, make the most of it. Kennedy advises, “Take that link, share it with your customers, share it with your leads… They feel comfortable that, hey, we don't have to shop around this year. We're with the right person.”

The Future of Press Releases

As the media landscape continues to evolve, so too must press release strategies. Kennedy encourages businesses to stay open to trends and be willing to adapt their approach. He suggests, “Just stay open to trends and what's going on in your industry and take a position on it.”

By following these expert tips from Mickie Kennedy, small businesses can harness the power of press releases to boost their media presence, gain credibility, and ultimately grow their brand.


How often should a small business send out press releases?

Kennedy recommends committing to a PR campaign of six to eight releases to truly see if PR will work for your business.

What types of news are best for small business press releases?

Newsworthy content such as product launches, industry surveys, unique customer stories, and contrarian viewpoints on industry trends work well.

How can I measure the success of my press release?

Track earned media coverage through Google News and Web searches, monitor website traffic, and ask new leads how they heard about your business.

Are press releases still relevant in the digital age?

Yes, press releases remain a powerful tool for gaining media attention and building credibility, especially when distributed through reputable newswire services.

How can I make my press release stand out to journalists?

Include compelling story arcs, human interest elements, valuable data or survey results, and unique perspectives on industry trends.

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