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Newspapers and their websites are always looking for news from community businesses. Sending a press release that is ready for publication will help get your company name in front of your community.
Share Your Story
Attending the International LCT Show or any trade show is an investment in your company and the service you provide to your community. It is worth showing your community your commitment to safety, chauffeur training, transportation laws, and industry trends. You probably have read or heard about awards bestowed upon local businesses such as a restaurant getting a Zagat rating or a local car dealership recognized for high sales by a manufacturer such as Ford.
So why not toot your own horn? You’re just as worthy and important. Your community will never know just how committed you are if you don’t tell them. Consider this your chance to shout it from the mountain. You should consider it a favor to your local media that you are providing important information about your local business. Prepare a press release and tell your little world about your Show attendance and what you learned, or what you bought to improve your operations.
What is a Press Release?
A press release, also known as a media release, is a public announcement to the media about something significant to be shared with the community. If properly written, it should be ready for publication without much editing, or ready to be read on-air as written. In order to achieve this, a press release should be written to contain what editors call the five W’s and the H. Simply put, it is Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. It should be written to contain “news” and never be written like a commercial or advertisement for your company. Editors frown on that sort of thing. You might wonder if your release is newsworthy. Editors start each publication with blank pages. They are eager to fill those pages and are usually thrilled to receive a written press release ready for publication as a “copy and paste” especially since most newspapers run with a fraction of the staff they had just 10 years ago. It saves them time and fills the page, so don’t worry they will lack interest. The worst case scenario is they decide not to use it. You are out nothing but a little bit of time. However, if they do use it, you will be the talk of the town.
Press Release Prep Basics
- Your contact name: In case they have any questions
- Your contact information: Phone number, cell number, and an email address
The Headline: Summarize what this release is about using words that explain the whole thing in a few words. It should be interesting enough to make someone want to read more. It should never contain acronyms that the average person might not understand. Here are some examples:
ABC LIMO ATTENDS ILCT SHOW
This is not an effective headline. It promotes ABC Limo and may be rejected on that basis alone. The average citizen in your community would have no idea what ILCT stands for.
LOCAL LIMO SERVICE JOINS IN GLOBAL CONVENTION
This generalizes the company as a limo service with no attempt to promote the company name but to share what you did. It spells out exactly what the International LCT Show is to the average person. You can spell out and explain ILCT in the body of the release.
- Who: Who is the story about? Who is providing this information?
- What: The main theme. What is it you really want to share?
- When: When did this happen?
- Where: Where did this happen?
- Why: What was the benefit and why did you participate?
- How: While this is sometimes optional, how did it come to be?
- #END#: This symbol is centered at the bottom of the body to indicate to the editor there are no additional pages and nothing else to be added.
Copy point is a term used by editors that refers to the five Ws and the H. Each one of those is a “copy point” or subject. However, there are other copy points that might be contained that are not really necessary to tell the story. An example would be a statement such as, “The company operates nine vehicles and has been in business since 2004.” The statement is a copy point but isn’t really needed to share your attendance at ILCT. Editors might need to edit your words down to fit an available space. Ease that process by putting the less relevant copy points at the bottom of the page so they can easily be cut without affecting the more important copy parts at the beginning of the release. It is okay to make such statements in the press release with the hope they will be part of the story. But if they don’t make it to print, you still transmit your message to your community that you attended the show with good results for your business.