We were thrilled to see our press release for a firm of accountants become the front page story – the splash, in newspaper terms – in the local paper last week.
The secret was good timing – and positioning the clients as experts on a hot topical issue.
Hot issue: the topic was Child Benefit, and the fact that many local families would lose out to the tune of perhaps £2,500 a year after it was means-tested for the first time, from January.
At our suggestion, our clients, Antrobus Accountants in Petersfield, Hampshire, set up a Child Benefit hotline (just an extension on the office switchboard) and we sent out a press release positioning them as experts able to guide families confused by the complex changes.
The local paper, the Petersfield Post, took the bait when we explained Child Benefit was about to become a hugely controversial issue affecting their readers.
Timing: We warmed the news editor up a couple of weeks in advance, arranged pictures then waited … and in that notorious dead zone between Christmas and the New Year, when nothing is happening and the media is desperate for news, what might otherwise have made a page lead became the splash.
With this press coverage Antrobus raised their profile, established themselves as experts on a topical problem and used the hotline to draw in potential clients.
All in all, a gratifying success. If you angle your press releases to focus on something genuinely newsworthy, and take advantage of timing when you can, you can make the same impact.