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Forgotten Advertising–The Press Release

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Have you ever run a promotion that had to do with raising money for a charity or supported a local school? How did you advertise this? Did you think about writing a press release to get the word out?

A press release or a news release is a written announcement directed at members of the news media about something claimed as having news value. Press releases can clear away the clutter and become a powerful marketing tool in an integrated marketing plan… if it’s newsworthy.

For instance, a furniture store in Greenville, SC, partners with The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program every year. The angel tree is placed in their front entryway and residents of the city (not just buyers) are eligible to take an ornament from the tree and then come back by a certain day with the gift item that is suggested. The Salvation Army then wraps the gift and hands them out to underprivileged children in the area.

In past years, the retailer did not take any credit for it. It is something they had ALWAYS done and didn’t think twice that the community would take interest in their participation. Although people should not boast, companies have the right to tell the entities that contribute to the news cycle “things they do different than everyone else”. This retailer is doing something different and they needed to let the world know.

So, to help encourage participation last year, for every 250 new “likes” this retailer received on their Facebook page they would make a donation to the angel tree.  To announce the program, the retailer distributed a press release and was offered free airtime on the local CBS affiliate and interviewed on the local afternoon drive radio show.

With this announcement, and a slight tweak to their traditional program, this retailer was able to get a newsworthy event out into the marketplace and give the consumer another reason to purchase from them.

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