Want cheap, often free publicity? Write a press release!

A press release should have information worth getting out to the public, but let’s not kid ourselves – a press release is basically an elaborate advertisement for your business camouflaged as news. It should appear newsworthy, but really, it’s pseudo-newsworthy.

Some press release ideas for the insurance and annuity marketer:

– Announce your free annuity seminars.

– Announce new annuity or insurance products and how they might differ from others on the market.

– Announce a new service area. If you’re in a large city you could announce that your firm is now servicing smaller communities in the surrounding area.

You get the idea. Try those or come up with your own pseudo-newsworthy topics. Whatever you do, don’t be brazenly self-serving. Example of what not to do: Bill Broich sells annuities and would love to sell one to you, call 555-5555. Not only will it not fly, it could have the opposite effect by damaging your credibility.

You can submit your press release to numerous sites online and occasionally they’ll get syndicated by national media outlets and can often filter back to your local media market. You can also submit your release to your local newspaper and the local business paper if your city has one, but chances are slim you’ll make print in the local outlets, but it can and does happen. Regardless, being on the press release portals will filter back to your local market in some shape or form. Many people have keyword Google News Alerts for their respective cities. So if your press release lists your city, which it should, chances are good it’ll wind up in the e-mail inboxes of the Google Alerts subscribers in your city. Local bloggers might run the article, or make mention of it, other websites might pick it up, and best of all the release will come up in local search engine results.

Press release structure is straightforward: Open with a title, subtitle. List date and city of origin in the first sentence of the body content. Write 3-7 paragraphs of copy and end with a company bio and contact information: phone, email and web address. If you have a website make sure that it is not simply listed, but that it is ‘hot linked’. This will help you get traffic to your site and the live link back to your site will increase search engine performance.

If you execute a solid press release chances are good it’ll net you a few leads and quite possibly a sale or two. In the very least it’ll help build awareness of your name and services and will help with marketing your website to Google and the other search engines.

News Reporter