What is a Press Release?
Press releases are official statements issued by companies the purpose of which is to announce to the world that a new and innovative product is coming to market. At the risk of oversimplifying such a highly important corporate document, press releases contain all the salient data customers and distributors need to know about the product, answering several important questions:
- What does it do?
- When will it be available?
- How does it work?
- What are the features and benefits?
Press releases have been used to herald the arrival of most of the world’s transformative products, technologies, services, and well, you get the idea. But there’s more to it than just issuing one; in order to get the most visibility, a lot of thought has to go into the how and the when a press release should be issued.
Why You Need to Issue One the Next Time Your Company Has a Booth on a Trade Show Floor
Imagine for a minute that your company is going to be attending a trade show (this likely won’t take a great deal of imagination because if you’re reading this, there is a very real possibility you’re doing some research on how to get the most out of the event).
Now imagine that your firm is planning to unveil a great new product at the show – definitely not a bad idea considering the trade show floor will be teeming with potential customers, investors, and distributors. How do you get the message out? How do you make sure all those people passing through the convention center doors will know you’ve got a new product that’s about to hit the market?
It’s unrealistic to think that you’ll get a chance to speak one-on-one to all those who might be interested in your product, after all, there are only so many hours in the day. That’s where the use of the press release comes in – but if even just have the companies represented decide to issue their own release, yours may fail to stand out.
A Common Mistake to Avoid Regarding Trade Shows and Press Releases
There is an inherent problem with press releases that a lot of people don’t think about when it comes to trade shows, and that has to do with timing. Many companies wait until the first day of the show to issue their press release, and on the surface, that might not seem like a bad idea; especially if maintaining secrecy around your product is a big motivator. Here’s why waiting until the trade show has already started to issue your release is a problem.
First of all, trade shows are huge. Lots of new products are unveiled beneath the lights of a trade show, and that means a good proportion of your industry is likely already milling about the floor. It does very little good to issue a statement to the industry when the eyes of your industry are focused elsewhere.
Consider issuing your press release a couple of weeks before the show; not only will it garner more attention to your product (because your release won’t be competing with hundreds of others), but it will also help to build anticipation in show attendees, and might make your booth a specific destination while they are there.
Another Great Reason to Issue a Press Release Early
If building anticipation and visibility wasn’t enough of an incentive to issue your statement early, consider this. If your release contains a product or service that is truly exciting, you’re going to want help getting the word out. Press releases are a good start, but they don’t necessarily offer the kind of flare that an article in a trade publication would.
By sending your release early, and provided your product is innovative enough, your company just might be featured in a publication that will be circulated within your entire industry. This provides you with a platform from which to invite people to your booth. Remember, exposure is king.
Preparing a Release: What to Include
If the primary purpose of your press release is get people to your booth, there a few things you should remember to consider. Obviously, you want to cover all the information that we covered at the top of the page, but you might want to add a few ‘extras’ if your end goal is to get the hands of consumers on your product.
- Be sure to include the event name and your booth number
- Add a section indicating how customers can follow you on social media
- Don’t make it all about text: use visual elements to entice the audience to keep reading
- Avoid industry jargon as much as possible – rather, use plain language wherever you can
Press releases can be a valuable tool to getting the word out on a new product line or build brand awareness. That being said, never issue a press release as an afterthought; always make sure that your firm’s press releases are part of your larger marketing strategy.