Press Releases: Publish Yourself

Where will you send your press releases if traditional print and broadcast news outlets continue to shrivel or move to new business models? Maybe you should consider publishing your own press releases.

The emergence of the Internet and social media has eroded the economic footings of traditional media. Fewer reporters and no room in the news hole have replaced reportorial skepticism of spoon-fed press releases.

At the same time, Web sites and social media afford opportunities to interact directly with customers and constituents. You can post your press releases so customers and constituents can read them without the filter of a reporter, copy editor and headline writer.

The freedom to reach your target audience directly isn’t a license to make inflated or inaccurate claims. You must apply the same discipline of relevance and truthfulness as you would if you sent a press release to a traditional media outlet. In addition, you need to know enough about your target audience to understand what information they want.

Posting press releases about your products, services and accomplishments is just part of a comprehensive outreach strategy. The overall objective is to engage your customers or constituents and find ground for mutual benefit. The best place to start is to listen.

When you find out what customers or constituents are interested in – and where they go for reliable information – you have the foundations for your self-publishing empire.

Like any publisher, your reputation will be on the line with every piece you post. Telling the truth, sharing interesting stories and truly listening is a recipe for respect and success in the self-publication world.