Smart Marketing Basics

10 Tips for Small Businesses Marketers – Keep Press Releases Top of Mind

Hello Small Business Marketers and Entrepreneurs! 

I came across a quick read article from Entrepreneur magazine with features some good basic “to do’s” for any small business trying to navigate through these tough times.  Be sure to check it out at:

A 10-Step Double-Dip Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide

I particularly endorse and recommend Tip #6, Ramp Up Your Marketing.  While other companies might be hunkering down during times of economic uncertainty, you stand to gain a lot by keeping marketing top of mind.  This doesn’t have to be expensive.  I always counsel the small businesses that I speak to that investing regularly in public relations, specifically writing and issuing your own press releases, can pay huge dividends. 

By promoting your daily business activities, including new products and services, special offers, new customer wins, training events, or open houses, you will be able to successfully build your brand and drive traffic to your website.  It’s important to stay active, while your competition sits on the sidelines!

If you would like more information on marketing your small business using press releases, check out this previous blog post, “Three Press Releases to Grown Your Small Business”,

Helping Small Businesses Write Press Releases Quickly and Easily

I was asked recently to contribute to a business column on the one tip I could give to small businesses that struggle with creating press releases, and thought I would share that insight here in the Smart Marketing Basic blog.

I have been writing press releases for B2B companies for more than 20 years, and the best tip I have for writing press releases is to create a standard template that you can use over and over again.  Once you develop a successful recipe or format based on good writing fundamentals, you can crank out press releases pretty quickly.

Your template should include:
1) A boilerplate company message that is used consistently in every release
2) 1-2 Keyword phrases that you feature in every headline
3) A standard quote structure for developing customer or company executive quotes
4) A call-to-action that tells your readers where to get information
5) Contact information so readers know who to call for questions and interviews.

Strive to create specific templates for your most common releases, such as new products, customer wins, and events or seminars.  By always starting with your template, you can quickly create professional press releases that can effectively and inexpensively promote your small business.

If you would like more information on press release templates, simply Google “how to write a press release” and many search options will come up with free to low-cost templates. You can also check out our available templates on, by going to:

How Technology VARs and Resellers Can Benefit from PR

I attended the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference this summer, an annual event that convenes thousands of technology partners under one “convention center” roof.  It is quite a gathering of technology entrepreneurs and small business owners who are committed to building their business by learning more about the latest in Microsoft products and services.

While building out your technology solution strategy is a key component for any technology VAR or reseller organization, it is also important to consider other marketing investments that are essential to growing your business.  I have worked with many VAR organizations throughout my 20+ year career as a technology marketing professional, and a key area for investment that often gets overlooked is publicizing your own business. 

Investing in public relations and other marketing activities are keys to any successful organization.  Often times, business principals can become quickly overwhelmed by the deep discipline of marketing, and put off getting started.  It doesn’t have to be this way — by committing to a few smart marketing plays, a reseller organization can quickly get started.  Issuing regular press releases on your business wins and successes is a ‘ no-brainer’ tactic that doesn’t require a lot of time and dollars up front. 

I often coach small businesses to create a calendar on a quarterly basis that can highlight some news items to target, and then commit to creating press releases for each one.  For example, announcing a new service offering, a new customer win, or an upcoming training or webinar event you are hosting, are all opportunities to generate publicity for your organization.   You can use press releases to highlight the wonderful things your company does daily as part of its regular operations!  The goal to creating a steady stream of news is to keep your brand and company top of mind with your prospective customers, so that when they are ready to buy, they naturally think of you. 

The press release has really evolved over time, from being only a tool sent only to journalists and media outlets, to become a great way to create recent and relevant content about your business.  Creating and posting press releases helps your website content stay fresh and can improve your search engine rankings as a result.  Additionally, press releases are a great tool to provide your sales team with, to send out to their prospecting and customer lists.  They can also be great conversation starters during cold calling or business development campaigns.  Lastly, press releases can be sent to your customers and other external partners and stakeholders to show how you continue to innovate in your industry.

Writing your own professional press releases doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor.  There are several templates (both free and low-cost) that are available to walk you through this process, step-by-step.  If you simply Google “how to write press releases”, several resource options will come up for your consideration. 

If you would like more information on press release templates for small business marketing, you can check out these links on our website for more information:

Small Business Marketing Advice, free article downloads and blog from
Marketing Plans and Templates, low-cost downloadable templates from

Please feel free to post your small business marketing experiences and comments!  Thanks for reading.

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