As businesses make their marketing and Public Relation (PR) plans, they often forget the importance of imbibing press releases into this plan. More often neglected by small businesses in Africa, there is no questioning the fact that having a well-structured press release plan for your business is a serious booster to the publicity of your products and services and the overall marketing plan of your business.
Regardless of your industry, a well-structured press release plan will help your business organization earn media coverage within your targeted community, region and even across the world, which today is now a global village. For hospitality businesses, press releases are a priceless tool for small, medium and large businesses operating within this space, and regardless of the type of your business, be it a hotel, restaurant, catering, nightclub, bar, spa, or even a hospitality consultancy outfit, having modest and very effective ways of letting the public know about the major events happening around your business will always add value to your business and its product awareness and marketing.
Whether it is about the employment of a new charismatic staffer, a major acquisition, an upcoming event or the launch of a new product and services, a well-planned press conference can be issued to the public to add to the total promotion plan.
Most modern businesses around the world have often used press releases to engage the public and create awareness of their existence at every opportunity they have with the aim of putting one additional member of the public in the know about them and what they do.
Press releases are very important tools for business promotion and their importance may only increase in the nearest future. It is therefore important that hospitality operators in Africa take a cue on this and form the habit of issuing one to feed the industry news. To do this, Hospitality Managers are encouraged to first have a press release plan for their businesses. Having said that, the question becomes how does one set up a one. Let us take a look at how to put together a professional Press Release Plan for your hospitality business, but first, lets us start by understanding the meaning of “Press Release” and why we need to imbibe the culture of writing them.
What is a Press Release?
Press Releases are announcements written by a company or an individual entity and shared with the media to generate positive news coverage within a targeted community which could be local as well as global. Though they are quite different from “news”, they are designed with the main purpose of taking advantage of significant occurrences in and around the entity or organization to create brand awareness and attract customers.
The idea is to release a good press release to let the media know about those significant changes in your business, hoping a reporter or a media outfit will see a story in your press release and write an actual news article about it
Why Do We Need To Imbibe the Culture of Writing Press Releases?
With the advent of the internet can the online world with its market place and social congregations. Apart from conventional media newspapers, there are millions of media outfits operating online, fantastic outreach. As a matter of fact, the share button on the social media platforms today has made it easier to have your Press Releases shared to quit a chunk of the entire world with a short space of time. Having a PR that is appreciated by the public may just attract millions of views and shares too. This is serious adverts at almost zero cost too.
- A well-crafted and carefully distributed press release is a cost-effective public relations and marketing tool. It can be especially useful or beneficial for startup companies or for entrepreneurs interested in growing their small business brands.
- Imbibing the culture of issuing Press Releases will help your business address issues of public interests effectively. It will help when there is a need to respond to a crisis, and when making announcements concerning products and services updates.
- For Reputation Management: Press releases are very useful when managing damming situations in your organization. Be it bad customer feedback gone viral, or a defect product causing a stir in the market; deploying a consumer Press Release Alert may just be that proactive damage control mechanism you needed to salvage the situation. They can be used to alert the public to safety concerns, security breaches, and even product recall.
- Improving your Web SEO: There is a reason why global webspace is all about search engine optimization. These days, SEO goes way beyond keywords and has its fingers on everything from your website’s image descriptions and alt. tags, to its content, links, and citations. Although it’s pretty rare, a press release may directly boost your company’s search engine results pages (SERPs) when its URL ranks, it certainly does add to it.
- Press releases, help promote the men and women behind your brand and helps to boost their image and career as news about them will circulate around the world over time.
- It takes your message to the public domain for media houses to see. With hopes, they may find a newsworthy item in it for their own publications. It can also be re-published by social media users.
- To feed the public of developments around your business products and services.
We all know stories of events and activities are not usually told the way it is, more especially in Africa, where your story, if told by a third-party, are often told with exaggerations or sometimes totally twisted with the theme of the story sometimes even changed totally. To avoid, these common trends, it is advisable that businesses should take their destiny in their own hands by immediately making press statement whenever necessary to ensure the story that will make the rounds does represent the way they want it to be. They need to get the story straight, right from the onset.
If you do not tell your story the way you want it told, I can guarantee you, someone else will; and he might just tell it the other way around. So you need to do the needful and in time too. Though the story can never be the same once told, a Press releases will help you control what stories people tell about your business to a very high degree.
How to Imbibe the Culture of a Professional Press Release for your Hospitality Business
Press releases are great communicating tools with existing clients and for prospecting. Press releases don’t require major investments too. To start issuing press releases, you need to:
- First, you need to design a good structure press release plan
- To start issuing a professional press release for your hospitality business, you will need to first have a Press Release Plan. It is always important to have a good structure press release plan before embarking on it. You don’t want to roil out press releases like they’re going out of fashion just because you want to be seen doing so. The result could be counterproductive.
- Put a Press Team together to manage your press release desk. You don’t have to recruit new staffers for this. Delegating a team out of existing staff could just be enough.
- It is important to choose the right persons here. They must have a good command of required language be it English, French, or Portuguese.
- Work with a reputable PR Consultants
- Don’t expect that the media will grab all your Press Release and run them. You need to take a consistent, professional and newsworthy approach with the help of a reputable PR Consultants and or Editors of respected publications to get your press releases-plan to work for you. The probability that you’ll get some coverage becomes higher working with a PR Consultant.
Depending on whether the event or circumstance is something that might interest readers and listeners of most media houses, or benefits the community in some way, your press release may appear in an organic search or perhaps you’ll see a bump on Google’s “News” section. If your press release is written well and is viewed and engaged with by many and if you are lucky, it may be picked up by bloggers, Tweeters and others who find it worthy of promoting within their social networks.
If you distribute a powerful and captivating press release that is then picked up by a newspaper, media outlet, or blogger, your company will gain a link, like, mention, visibility, brand recognition, citations, and referral traffic.
When you have a structured publicity campaign that imbibes the culture of press releases, you earn a kind of credibility that advertising can’t buy for you. The more newsworthy you make your business, the more coverage you’ll get and at a very reasonable budget too.
These are just a few tips to make the most of your press releases. Remember, the best way to ensure success is to create a plan, get started as soon as possible, and keep your press releases fresh. When writing a press release, your goals should be uniqueness, timeliness and top-of-the-mind awareness. Once you achieve publicity and visibility, both your company profile and that of your client prospect levels will rise.
Just remember this: If a press release is well-written, almost any event can be turned into news. One successful story about your company resulting in free publicity is an advertising worth well over hundreds and thousands of dollar.
Virtually every country in this world with a sustainable hospitality industry management system does have well-structured platforms for collecting and disseminating business press releases. The hospitality sector is not exempted from this, as a matter of facet they need it more than most industries because they are in the business of taking care of the public and the public need to be kept in the loop of things. African hospitality and leisure industries do needs such platforms to collect and disseminate press releases too and for these reasons, we at Hospitality360 Africa are committed to doing just that. The platform www.hospitality360africa.org is available for all businesses and persons in the sector to send their Press releases to for onward broadcasting. You also owe the public the responsibility to know of new developments around your services.
You could follow up the link www.hospitality360africa.org to submit your press release for FREE today. You could also send it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you could contact us on WhatsApp: +234(0)802 060 3017 or via Email: email@example.com set up a professional Press Release Plan that suits your business.
Hospitality 360 Africa is an Award-Winning Marketing and PR Consulting firm, Direct-Mail Promotion Specialist and Hospitality Journalist committed to the Africa Hospitality and Leisure World.