Sometimes the best way to draw attention to your finer qualities is to go subtle.

If you’re a small privately held company and you’re having a great year, or you’ve just invested in a new great-looking website, obviously you want all your customers and potential customers to know about it. You’re probably thinking “Let’s issue a press release!” But for most trade magazine editors, phrases like “Launches New Website” or “Dominates the Industry” are an invitation to press the delete key. New website press releases stopped being “new” in about 1996, and no journalist is going to report that you’ve taken over the world just because your press release says so.

Besides, the people who really care that your company’s doing well is a rather exclusive group. It consists of your existing customers, your employees, the vendors who depend on you to buy things from them, partners who have linked their brands to yours, and, last but not least, anyone to whom you owe money. Journalists know this, so they’re never going to use a press release about how well you’re doing unless that affects in some way a very large proportion of their readers.

So how do you get the news out? Here are three solutions to this perennial problem:

1. Talk about your company’s success in a way that makes it relevant for a larger number of people.

For example, Ametherm, a manufacturer of electronic components in Carson City, Nevada, got excellent results in the local media from a press release that touted not only the company’s 20th anniversary but also that it was hiring new people to make things in a local factory. Suddenly the story isn’t just about that one company; it’s about jobs and about electronic components being manufactured (again) in the United States. Not only did this result in some great press coverage, it also got the attention of the people in that part of Nevada who give out awards to companies for creating jobs – and that announcement created more good news for Ametherm to talk about.

2. Focus on what’s really new and different

Most press releases about websites are never going to be noticed by members of the press, but Alliance Memory, a fabless supplier of DRAM memory, among other products, found a way to attract a lot of attention by focusing on the ability of visitors to the new website to see real time stock levels for its integrated circuits at key distributors like Digi-Key. In the context of a cut-throat market for DRAMs experiencing industry-wide shortages and price gouging, this immediately got the attention of editors covering the electronics supply chain since it spoke to a real need that their readers were facing.

3. Use a different vehicle than a press release to get your story told

Another solution to communicating stories that are mainly of interest to friends and family is to not issue a press release at all. Instead, share the news in a newsletter, blog post, tweet, or retargeted social media ad where you’re reaching out directly to the people you really care about (and who really care about you). Alliance Memory recently used a Q&A with its president and CEO David Bagby to convey some important company messaging directly to channel partners and customers in a way that politely challenged their knowledge about the company in order to draw them in-and which allowed Alliance Memory to be sure that they points they really wanted to share would be conveyed to a key audience in exactly the words they were comfortable with.

When you’re inside a company sometimes it’s difficult to come up with a new angle to talk about what you’ve accomplished lately. That’s where Redpines can help, since we see the potential in things that you might be taking for granted. What story do you need to communicate? We invite you to start the conversation by giving Susan Warren a call at (516) 982-3383.

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