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Free Printable ~ Press Release Planner and Template

Visibility for your business should be a majority priority. We make this statement because honestly, you could have the greatest product or service, but if nobody knows about it you then your business is never going to reach its full potential. Being consistent on social media platforms, going to networking events, and being involved in your community is extremely important and some great ways to market your business. Another way to get more exposure for your business is to be covered by media sources. How do you get media coverage? The answer: Public Relations.

According to prsa.org “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” As we stated before getting involved in your community is a great way to market, it’s also a great way to build a relationship with the public too. But, getting your story out beyond the community you can physically reach is key.  You can do this by building your brand’s story and issuing it to news outlets through a press release.

Prowly.com states a press release “is a tool made to announce something that is newsworthy in the most objective way possible. The whole purpose of a press release is to get coverage and get noticed by a target audience.” Get coverage and noticed by your target audience?! Yes, please!! But, before you jump straight into writing your business’s story and sending it off to media outlets you need to get your ducks in a row.

Here at Women’s Council of Entrepreneurs we always try to make your life as an entrepreneur easier – we feel like we say that all the time – but it’s true! And this time is no different. We created a Press Release Planner and Template for you to download for free to organize yourself and your business before you put yourself and your business out into the crazy media world!

We will go over each page of the download so you can properly use it. But, first, you can download it by clicking the button or image below:

Now that you have it downloaded we can go through each page to give you a better understanding of how to execute these worksheets.

The first page is set to brainstorm and write several statements that define your business. These statements need to be your key messages that explain your business or the story (stories) of your business. Think about all aspects of your business and how you want the public to see it. Some things to think about ~ What does your business do? What problems does your business solve? What do you and your business stand for? Do you help any causes? What are some adversities that you or your business have gone through? 

We give you space for 6 statements, but you can create more if you would like. You can use these statements as a starting point for all of your media story ideas. These statements are what you want the public to know about your business. Use them so your message stays consistent! But, remember as time goes on make sure you keep your stories fresh and up-to-date while still staying true to your mission.

Now onto The second Press Release Planner Page! This walks you through a set of questions that will help you outline your main story or idea that you want to submit to the media. So, pick one of your defining statements and go through the second worksheet answering the questions accordingly.

First, you will need to know if the story needs to be released immediately or at a later date. Then we move on to the purpose of the press release. Is this an announcement of an event? A new business? A merger? A community impact story? Or are you inquiring for an interview? Next, is the title. Oh, the title! The title let’s just say is no easy feat! With your title (or headline) you want to make sure it catches the reader’s attention and entices them to continue reading, but is concise and to the point. This is really no different than any other news articles you see on your social media or in newspapers or magazines. You may want to skip the title section until you get your whole story mapped out. It tends to be easier to write a summary of something you have already written. The Logical Entrepreneur has some great tips on writing your title.

Next up… The Who, What, Why, When, and Where! You want to outline What your story is about and what the main news hook would be. This leads us to the Why. Why is this story important and why should the media cover it? The Who is ~ Who is involved in the story? And whom does the story affect? And lastly when and where does (or did) the story take place?

Lastly, on the Press Release Planner Worksheet you need to create your Boilerplate and Call to Action. A boilerplate is simply a one-paragraph description of your company and key business information that goes at the bottom of a press release. Your Call to Action is simply what you would like to be done next. Do you want them to interview you? Do you want them to ask for more information? What would you like from them?

For more help on your boilerplate you can use this template to write your main company description in just one sentence:

{Business name} creates {offering} to help {target audience} {solve a problem} with {distinguishing characteristic}.

Our next worksheet for you is the Press Release Template. This is fairly self-explanatory. Just follow the template we give to structure your outline into a press release. After you have your press release drafted you will need to research potential media outlets to submit it to. We have also included a great worksheet that will organize the different potential media outlets by their name, website, contact person, date of submission, and if you have followed up with this outlet, as well as, a section for further notes. And as a bonus, we also added an additional worksheet with prompts that will help you evaluate your progress monthly.

We truly hope these worksheets help you structure your press release! For more tips and free downloads please browse through our other Small Business Resources or discover even more ways to become a better and more efficient business owner with WCE’s Resources and Training Programs.

And you won’t want to miss our On-Demand Webinar Your Public Relation Strategy! Carrie Ward of Connexions Public Relations walks you through the basics of a Public Relations program and provides you with an actionable plan to kick off your own PR campaign! 

You can find this event and all of our other On-Demand Education by clicking the button below!

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at connect@wearewce.com!

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