One of the most common fears in this industry is sounding "too promotional." However, when your service or product actually solves a problem or meets a need, it's important to remember that the consumer is often thankful you made them aware of the product or service.
So the problem isn't sounding too promotional; it's actually bad, inauthentic or lazy promoting.
An easy way to get around this is to use the old j-school adage: Show, don't tell.
If you have numbers, testimonials, graphics or other sources that show what you're saying, this can help you round out your promotion and press strategy in a way that feels more authentic and personable. Additionally, it'll be a lot easier to get your pitches placed, you'll feel more confident as you promote yourself and your message will likely resonate more.
So how do we put this into action?
When it comes to using your call to action to shape your press strategy, your actual pitch to reporters is a great way to bring in those more "showy" elements that tell the story for you.
Let's start with an example event pitch.
You need volunteers for an upcoming event and you have two options when pitching the news:
Pitch the general assignment reporter for a quick blurb about how great of a place you are to volunteer for. You do an interview and a quick tour if there is time.
Ask the reporter to follow your volunteers for a day and get an inside look at the gig. You do one interview but the focus stays on the volunteers and their work.
Which do you think will perform better? If you're not sure, ask yourself what story would you want to see.
One is an example of a more traditional approach which isn't, by itself, bad, but won't have the return you're looking for. You're also more likely to sound "too promotional" because it's pretty hard ~not to~ if you spend the full 2 minutes speaking about you and why you started the brand. Bringing in other voices helps you flesh out the story and promote your message authentically and in a way that's more memorable, centering people while still making your brand the solution.