Marketing & Promotions

Press Release Writing for the Non-PR Pro

If you’ve ever seen a nail salon mentioned in your city magazine or on the local TV news and thought, “I wish they’d feature my salon,” we think it’s time to make your wish come true. Use this template to e-mail out a salon announcement that will have the media shouting “Extra! Extra! Check out this unique salon!” 

All Eyes on You salon in Manchester, England, was featured in a large story in the The Stockport Express because owner Katie Miles initiated contact with a reporter there. The article is now in a frame inside the salon — proof of the power of a press release.
<p>All Eyes on You salon in Manchester, England, was featured in a large story in the <em>The Stockport Express</em> because owner Katie Miles initiated contact with a reporter there. The article is now in a frame inside the salon &mdash; proof of the power of a press release.</p>

Press Release Best Practices

Keep production times in mind. Newspapers, websites, TV stations, and radio stations are usually OK with a short notice (sometimes even same-day notice), but magazines tend to work about three months ahead. For a magazine, your summer-themed press release should be e-mailed no later than March. “Contact the reporters in plenty of time giving as much information as you can to help your story. Try to include something that will make your story stand out,” says Katie Miles, owner of All Eyes on You salon in Manchester, England, which was featured in The Stockport Express, with the angle being Miles had fulfilled her dream of opening a salon.

Send your news to every outlet — big and small, local, national, or international — that you think may be interested in your story. But don’t put the e-mail addresses all in the same “to” field. Send an individual e-mail to each reporter or, if there are too many reporters for that to be practical, use the BCC field in your e-mail (though sending it to a ton of people at once will make your release more likely to get caught in a spam filter).

Regardless of if you get a response (as long as you don’t get a negative response), send a press release to the same media outlets about once a quarter to stay front of mind. You never know when a particular release will pique their interest or a slow news day will cause them to have a spot to mention your salon.

Follow up by phone with the reporter. This is optional and you may not always get a positive response, but if you feel strongly that your story should be in the paper, make a tactful call. Confirm the reporter received the press release, mention why the news would be of value to her audience, and say you’d be happy to work with her on that story or on other beauty stories.

Be prepared for follow-up questions. You want to send the press release as a full package — with quotes and pictures — but don’t just blast it off and turn off your computer or phone. In many cases, the release is just the beginning, and the reporter will want to do several rounds of interviews (such as one over the phone and one in person) before submitting your story. Be prompt and friendly with the reporter and you may even become a regular expert source for her.

Don’t ask to see the article or video ahead of time, though it may be OK to ask to review your direct quotes. Many media outlets have policies against releasing articles before publication. Let the reporters and editors be the experts in writing and publishing the story. If the media outlet has a reputation for inaccuracies or for riling up unnecessary controversy, then simply don’t send your release to that particular media outlet.

Thank the reporter afterward. Tell the reporter how much you appreciated the job she did, especially if she visited your salon in person or really made it come to life with a lot of detail. “As a thank you I mentioned and thanked the reporter personally on Twitter to create some awareness for him,” Miles says.

Press Release Topics

Here are just a few ideas of events and occasions that we think warrant creating and sending an announcement to the news media:
> salon grand opening
> salon anniversary
> adding a trendy new service
> adding an entire category of service (such as hair to a nail salon)
> salon charity event
> individual nail techs or the salon winning an industry award
> individual nail techs or the salon being featured in a trade magazine
> salon expansion
> salon relocation
> response to relevant news (such as your response to safety concerns about UV gel lamps)
> new salon ownership or management
> a celebrity visiting your salon (with the celebrity’s permission)
> record-breaking salon revenues

View the sample press release a little larger as  PDF here.

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