How to write a Press Release

We’ve all been waiting for it, and finally 2021 is here. Over the holidays Lennox has been buzzing with visitors. It’s been fantastic to see local businesses being supported after such a trying year.

Success stories are popping up all over the place and if that’s you, it should be part of your marketing strategy to tell people about it. Social media is great at spreading awareness, but a story in the media, whether in a newspaper, magazine or on the TV or radio is unparalleled. Getting your story ‘published’ is the best form of word-of-mouth marketing you can get. We refer to this as ‘earned media’ and it is more trusted and credible to the viewer than ‘paid (owned) media’ as it is seen as unbiased. Naturally, people get talking and before you know it, you will hopefully see an impact on your business in terms of customers and sales.

When something newsworthy happens, let the media know about it by sending them a press release. Journalists are busy bees, so when writing a press release, there is a bit of a recipe to follow to make their life easier.

  1. A Strong and Informative Title

The title is the first thing the journalist will read, so it must clearly describe your story, grab attention and not be too long. This will become your email subject when you send press release out to publications. If it’s boring, the email won’t be opened.

 

  1. Your Subheading is Everything

Journalists receive hundreds of press releases, so don’t have time to read them all. Write a sentence or two that sums up your story and this will become your subheading. Make sure you answer all the Who, Where, When, What, How and Why questions.

 

  1. Talk about the Important Things First

Your press release is not an essay. Like a news article, you need to include the most important and relevant information towards the beginning. When you’ve done this, you can go into more detail, adding quotes and interesting facts about your story.

 

  1. Include Photos with People in Them

Send photos (with people in them) along with your press release. Photos make things more engaging for readers and helps them relate to your story. By including a variety of photos that are captioned, you’ll give your story a better chance of being published.

 

  1. Quotes are important 

Boost the credibility of your story with quotes from the business owners, customers, members of the community…whoever is relevant.

 

  1. Your contact details

Often, journalists will want to get in touch to organise interviews, take photos or learn more. Include your contact details, so they can get in touch.

 

  1. Boilerplate

Appearing at the bottom of every press release, is an outline of your company, products, services, awards and website and social links.

 

And with that fine-tuned recipe, you’ll have a press release ready to send to publications. Happy writing !

 

2020 at Barefruit Marketing

Barefruit in 2020

This is the last time we talk about 2020, we promise! Although it was a weird year last year, many lessons were learnt along the way. We’re looking back to 2020 to recognise and acknowledge our growth, our flexibility, our productivity and our teamwork (oh, and the funny times too!).

Full of hope and motivation for the beginning of a new decade, 2020 started off with a bang. Everyone was feeling refreshed for the new year after a break over the Christmas holidays. The bush fires that had devastated regional and remote NSW had finally come to an end and, truthfully spirits were high. Then came along COVID-19 and little did we know how much this virus might have on the world as we knew it.

As Australia’s cases rose, restrictions around the country tightened. Before we knew it, the Barefruit office closed, and we were all sent home to work on reduced hours. It was so difficult to see our many of our clients and local businesses really struggle through the first lockdown. Much of our work was put on hold, however our rebrand project for Korff Wealth continued on amongst a few other projects. This included the beginnings of Rafiki Zabibu wine...check it out here.

We saw the opportunity for Korff Wealth, a financial services boutique to roll out their rebrand while Australia was in lockdown. Why? Because more than ever before, Australians were turning to experts for financial advice. It was an exciting and challenging time for the Barefruit team, working over the phone and internet to deliver a rebranding project.

After 60 days at home, it was finally time for the kids to head back to school which meant we got to go back to the office. Thank goodness! It was unprecedented times for our clients, with business slowly starting back up in our town. We dialled up our flexibility to deliver a ‘Back2Business’ campaign, including coaching programs and marketing packages to generate new leads. We also worked to help our clients take advantage of government grants that were available for small businesses to use for marketing and communications. Our ability to capitalise on opportunities such as these was essential to the success we have seen in recent months, and we feel very proud about it.

Along came July and our pregnant Agency Manager, Cat, was due to have her a baby very soon. It was time for Barefruit to bring on a new employee to fill Cat’s position. And so, we welcomed Charlotte into an Account Executive position. We can’t quite believe that we were not only able to survive 2020 as a business, but we also were able to expand the team. In fact, we even needed to get Sara, our previous Agency Manager, back in for a day a week as Charlotte moved onto more and more client work. On 29 August, Cat welcomed her little girl, Bonnie, earth-side. The new Barefruit bubba has visited us a few times since, and she is absolutely gorgeous.

As business continued to improve in our local town, we were awarded with more and more projects from existing and new clients. In September, we helped North Coast Community College launch their new Primary Industries Training Centre. This was a major highlight of our year. We worked to organise a launch event for this new training centre and series of certificate III qualifications, while simultaneously creating media buzz and as much free publicity about it as possible. The event was a huge success with dignitaries, local publications and special guests all in attendance. From this, numerous articles were written about the new NCCC Primary Industries Training Centre, and NBN ran a feature on the local news the evening of the event. Read more about the fantastic day it was here.

The second half of 2020 really flew by. Before we knew it, it was Spring, and business was returning to normal in our regional town. Not to mention the onslaught of tourists from Sydney and Brisbane who greatly helped business in the Northern Rivers recover from the impacts of lockdown. We worked with artist Len Collins to set up a new website, multiple shoots for Tweed Holidays Parks took place, we worked with a start-up to create a company name and branding. We organised a Golf Day event with Northern Rivers Food in return for event sponsorship, continued ongoing work for all our retainer clients and saw our beer packaging design on the shelves of bottle shops. Recently we were awarded a TVC job for Raine and Horne.

After 414+ creative briefs, 500+ hours of pro bono work, 15 new websites and 15+ new branding projects we wrapped the year up, celebrating with a fantastic Christmas Party with Behind the Barrel. Thank you to everyone who made the year it was at Barefruit. We are forever grateful to be where we are today in 2021, thanks to the support of our staff, our clients and the local community.

Barefruit 2020 infographic

Marketing trends you can expect to see in 2021

BFM 2021 Marketing Trends

2021 is just around the corner which means it’s time to get ahead of the game. As we approach the end of each year, marketing trends for the next start to emerge. So, we’re going to take a look at what you can expect to see in the world of marketing in 2021.

User Generated Content

Since the rise of influencer marketing, user generated content (UGC) has become a highly effective marketing strategy for brands all across the world. As such, the value of UGC has increased exponentially due to consumers’ inclination to trust messages from fellow users over those from brands. The main appeal of UGC is the increased level of authenticity and reliability it provides consumers – essentially, it’s the new-school word for ‘word of mouth’.

Due to lock-down and social-distancing restrictions, 2020 saw a HUGE increase in UGC. Photoshoots and filming were put on hold and so brands had to get creative. And so, they adapted to the evolving digital landscape by looking to their customers to create content they want to see. We’ve seen more collaborations, influencer take-overs and real-life consumers using products on brand profiles on social media than ever before. In 2021, expect to see the trend continue because, let’s face it, there is nothing more trusting and enticing to see someone using and enjoying a product or service.

Example-Starbucks-User-Generated-Content
Branded content

High quality branded content has also been on the rise in 2020. Although, it’s no longer a one-way conversation when it comes to branded content. When brands communicate messages across any channel, consumers are increasingly expecting an experience. They don’t want to be told that something is on sale. Consumers want to connect emotionally with brands and get to know the brand’s personality and values in order to establish a relationship which aids purchase decisions.

And so, branded content in 2021 will be about creating a unique, unforgettable experience for customers. Jen McKinnon, Video Marketing Specialist and Envato says,

"With businesses, brands and individuals creating new content by the second, it's becoming harder and harder to stand out, which is why the quality of what we publish is so important.”

Some brands are using AR features of Instagram filters to give users branded experiences. Below are a few examples we love. Gucci jumped on board with a filter to help 2020 high school and uni graduates celebrate, which was extremely popular as graduation ceremonies were cancelled around the world. We MakeUp has used filters to give users the opportunity to 'try before thy buy'. And Taco Bell ...well we aren't sure if we love it, but it's certainly an experience for the user! You've likely seen brands engage on Instagram filters with games as well, and all of this is high quality branded content that creates memorable experiences for users.

Gucci Filters for branded content
We.MakeUp Filter for branded content
Taco Bell Filter for branded content
Social commerce

Social media is now the biggest and most beneficial platform for digital marketing, and makes up a large part of marketing budgets. With the introduction of Facebook and Instagram shops, product tags and Pinterest shopping ads and catalogues, social commerce has made its mark in 2020. 55% of online shoppers making purchases through social media channel and a whopping 71% of us turning to social media for shopping inspiration.

As we move into 2021, its more important than ever to make your brand, product and services are shoppable on social media. Additionally, consumers are starting to expect a more streamlined shopping experience, so having products shoppable on social media channels delivers on their expectations.

Example Instagram shopping tags
Brand activism

With everything that has happened in 2020, people have turned to social media to share their viewpoints on political, social and environmental issues around the world. It is no surprise that we are now seeing a big increase in brand activism, especially on social media. Today’s consumers are no longer out to get a good deal, instead they are becoming loyal to brands that aren’t afraid to stand up for what’s right, are committed to making change and have values aligned to those of their own.

In 2021, to help consumers feel connected to your brand’s personality, to build trust and loyalty you need to share your brand’s view points on certain issues in the world. Not all of them, of course! But the main ones that resonate with you and your brand.

 

Nostalgia Marketing

Described as the ‘advertising-equivalent of comfort food’, nostalgia marketing has really taken off in the last year. And this is probably because we are all craving familiarity, comfort and safety in 2020. Additionally, in a fast-paced world, looking back on the good-ol’ times always a welcome comfort.

Nostalgia is incredibly powerful, and it’s been proven to make consumers more willing to spend money on products and services, making it a perfect fit for any marketing strategy. When you combine nostalgia and marketing together, you get a force that cannot be reckoned with. Mixing emotions and connections to brands from people’s childhoods with persuasive messaging has a strong effect on purchase decision-making. Nostalgia Marketing forces us to focus on the things we already know and uses the familiarity of the old to sell the innovation. Its familiar, comforting and safe, and who doesn’t want a bit of that right now?

SERP Position Zero

SEO will remain an integral part of a digital marketing strategy in 2021, especially now that we are witnessing one of the biggest shifts in the industry in the last decade. Due to the increase use of mobile and voice search, the way in which people use search engines is changing. Think about how you use your phone to search on Google, versus how you use a desktop computer. As such, to rank first on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is no longer the ultimate goal. There is now a Position Zero to aim for. Position Zero is when text from a website is shown above search results. This snippet is pulled from Google’s algorithm as it is believed to be the most accurate answer to a certain query. Position Zero is what Google uses to answer voice searches, which is why it is becoming increasingly important.

In 2021, ranking first in search results will still be essential to a successful SEO strategy, but being featured in Position Zero will be just as important, if not more so.

Position Zero example SEO 2020

2020 has been a wild ride, but with these tip-offs on the marketing trends to expect in 2021, you can get planning now. Because, fingers-crossed (all of them!) 2021 is going to be a better year than the ones we’ve just had. Keep note that trends evolve and change, so these top tips aren’t anything set in stone, but they are a guide you can trust!

AdNews features Seven Mile Brewing Co. Packaging Designed by Barefruit

It was fantastic to see AdNews Australia pick up and write a story on the the packaging redesign project, briefed into us by Seven Mile Brewing Co. The recognition of our hard work was very rewarding, especially after the year 2020 has been.

The agency was delighted to be awarded the brief from Seven Mile Brewing Co. to redesign the packaging of their three core craft brews; American Pale Ale, Cali Cream and West Coast IPA. It was an exciting opportunity for Barefuit to work with a local business who required help in designing cans that served both functional and brand purposes for their beers. The brewery prides themselves on keeping their beer cold from the moment it is poured into a can and Barefruit ensured the packaging was designed for this purpose.

“It’s really important to us that our beer is kept cold from the moment it’s poured.” says, Matt, co-founder of Seven Mile Brewing Co. He goes on to say, “This ensures the beer’s flavours and aromas stay true to how we brew them here on site. And so, we needed packaging that would keep its integrity at cold temperatures”.  

Read more about the project here. 

 

B&T features Barefruit’s Redesign of Seven Mile Brewing’s Packaging

After all that has happened this year with our agency working from home for 8 weeks, business for our clients taking a hit and being as flexible and adaptable as we can, it was so exciting for our hard work to be noticed by B&T Australia. They ran a Press Release written by Charlotte (one of our star Account Executives), about our design project with Seven Mile Brewing Co. 

Barefruit worked with Seven Mile Brewing to design and print new can and carton packaging for the brewery's three core beers. The 9-month-long project progressed without any setbacks. Discussions began in late 2019, which were followed by thorough market and competitor analysis, concept development and final art production. The team worked collaboratively to develop designs that overcame the challenges of Seven Mile Brewing Co.’s previous packaging design; creating individual can designs for each core beer.

Alex Wales, Barefuit’s Creative Lead, is delighted to see his designs on bottle shop shelves. He said, “we based the design of the cans and cartons on how they would look on the shelves and in a retailer’s cooler room. We went for a simple design, placing emphasis on the brand logo and complimenting the design with bright variant colours.”

Read more about the project here. 

Read more about the project here. 

 

Colouring-in for a Creative Mind

Remember when you were at school? When recess was the best time of the day? You were let free from class to run around until your heart was content, to climb on the monkey bars and play made-up games. You were completely present in the moment and gave your mind a break from the hard work that goes into learning. Why don’t we do this anymore? When we talk about creativity, it’s so important to relieve your mind after critical thinking and reset focus. This essentially turns over a new page in your mind, making room for new ideas and connections to be formed. It’s essential for productive creativity, yet we never allow it for ourselves.

Until now! You need to get your hands on some colouring-in material because it’s not just for kids anymore. It may not be as physical as running around on the playground, but colouring-in will help you reset your mind, leading to enhanced creativity.

Colouring-in to express yourself

As an artistic practise, colouring-in lets you express yourself in way that you cannot in your daily work and life routine. It encourages experimentation which leads to new ideas. Ever had a great idea that just hit you out of the blue? It’s very likely you were being creative and present in the moment, helping your brain make new connections and pathways. What’s more, you can strategically use specific colours to enhance this effect on the brain. As you may already know, colours have a measurable impact on how we feel and how we think. Studies have shown the using blue and green in a situation or environment helps the brain to think creatively and open it to new ideas.

Colouring-in to detox from the digital world

As creative professionals, we are being drawn into the digital world more and more. Keyboards and screens have become our new normal, so putting a pencil to paper may be the best thing you could do for you creativity all day. Your eyes will be grateful for the time away from the screen too. Colouring-in is also highly effective to wind down after work or before bed. It can give you that distinction between your workday and being at home, especially important with so many Australians working at home at the moment. As reading or walking does, you’ll feel more refreshed after some colouring-in, instead of groggy and tired from staring at the computer all day long.

Colouring-in for stress relief

Feeling overwhelmed, running out of inspiration - life is stressful, and it’s even more stressful in the current climate. Give yourself the opportunity to zen out and focus solely on what’s happening right in front of you. Colouring-in will do this for you. Studies have shown that colouring-in relieves stress and helps reduce anxiety. Colouring within the lines means you don’t have to think about screwing up the drawing, boosting self-confidence and trust in your own ability. And what happens when you feel confident within yourself, and less stressed? You’ve got more room for creativity and new ideas!

Colouring-in to practise mindfulness meditation

Sitting still is not your thing? Traditional meditation is hard to practise, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for you. Meditation is often misunderstood for a crossed-legged yogi, sitting still for hours on end. This is unrealistic for pretty much everyone, and there are plenty of other ways to practise mindfulness meditation. The essence of practising mindfulness is to be 100% present in what you are doing. When you are colouring-in, you are focused only on the drawing in front of you. This helps to block out all distractions, declutter your mind and transport you into a meditative state. This break from the demands of everyday life creates space for creative thinking to thrive and helps improve mental health.

Before you rush out the door to find the closest colouring-in book you can find, Rafiki Mwema have some gorgeous free downloads to get you started. These three colouring-in sheets are part of the colouring-in book ‘Rafiki Mwema - Colours of the World’, featuring illustrations from artists all around the world who donated their art for this book. And if the three sheets aren’t enough, you can buy the whole book! Use the code FRUIT25 to get a 25% discount. Proceeds go towards helping some of the most vulnerable children in Kenya. It's a guilt-free, creativity enhancer that you need!

It’s time to talk Search Engine Marketing

Spring has sprung! While we’re relieved that the Northern Rivers hasn’t experienced a second wave in terms of increasing COVID cases, it’s hard to hear that local businesses are still copping the brunt of the economic slow-down. It’s time to put on your "adapt to survive” hat and look for opportunities in places where business is growing. And one of those places is online!

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is one of the most important marketing channels to generate web traffic to your website. It’s the process of increasing website visibility on search engine results pages though paid search advertising. If Google Ads, previously known as AdWords, rings a bell, this is what we are talking about. With millions of businesses out there vying for the same eyeballs, online advertising to promote your products or services has never been so crucial.

Bidding on keywords

Google Ads is a platform which allows you to bid on keywords to have your ads shown when people are doing searches on Google. You bid against other advertisers for the right to have your ad shown in several places on the Google Search results page. You only pay, however, when a user clicks on your ad. By setting a daily budget, you can cap the amount that you spend each day. You could set a budget of $5 or $10 per day and know that you are only paying for those who click on your ad (and hence visit your website).

More than just search

While SEM is great for attracting those who are searching for particular keywords, Google Ads also provides the opportunity to show your ads on other platforms. Advertising on the Google Display Network means your ads have the opportunity to be shown on millions of sites such as YouTube, eBay, Amazon and Gumtree.

Catch them looking

Everybody knows the experience of looking at a product and then suddenly getting those ads shown to you again.  This is a technique called remarketing that allows Google to show your ads to people who have previously shown an interest in your brand.  This works on the old marketing “rule of seven” that people need to be exposed to your message 7 times before they take action. 

SEM is focused on converting

While traditional advertising works to grow your brand awareness, SEM reaches people actively searching, people who are ready to buy. When someone clicks on your ad your landing page should guide them through the sales process… and voila! You’ve made a sale, gathered new leads, subscribers or sign-ups.

Now that you’ve got an idea of the potential for online advertising, set up your Google Ads account. There are heaps of tutorials on YouTube to help you get going. Google even has a free online course on Google Skillshop to get you started.

Electric Kombi Land

As part of our PR campaign for EV Classic, we sent out a Press Release to local newspapers. It was exciting to see the story picked up by The Northern Star. You can read more about this project here.

Byron Bay based EV Classic, run by Alex Bosin, is a sister company to Byron Bay Kombis and is in partnership with Retro Campervans. Recently, EV Classic launched their first 100% electric VW Kombi.

German-born engineer, Alex, first visited Byron in 1998 and ten years later found himself settling down in the area. In 2008, he began to capitalise his skill with German cars and love for modern technology and nature.  Alex goes on to say, "if you have a classic car that you want to preserve, with little or no maintenance costs, and like the idea of helping the environment, then an EV conversion might be a great solution!".

Korff Wealth

Korff Wealth

Complete Rebrand

the brief

We were thrilled when we received the brief to work on the rebrand and name change for the former, Yellow Brick Road Wealth and Management, Northern Rivers, which is now operating under Korff Wealth. The business saw an opportunity to restructure and rebrand during the current COVID-19 crisis. With the current economic climate, Australians need expert financial advice they can trust, more than ever. And so, it was the perfect time to strategically review the business and position for future growth.

 

our response

It was time for Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management to rebrand and restructure and position themselves in the market as Korff Wealth. With Barefruit's client services and branding expertise, we made this happen with a complete rebrand. The team worked with the client on the strategic direction for the brand's future as well as the visual aspects, including a new brand name, brand image, and brand logo and brand-new website which was designed by our creative lead and put together by our digital team who assisted in organising, uploading and optimising content. As well as completely rebranded both offices Ballina and Lismore.

To inform the public of Korff Wealth's rebrand, Barefruit created an integrated campaign, that combined both online and traditional advertising. We placed online ads in GIF format to capture the attention of people searching for financial advice. This was complimented with a newspaper article and press ads that were scheduled in the local Northern Star and The Ballina Advocate over a period of four weeks as well as other collateral.

Korff Wealth Brochure for Rebrand
Korff Wealth ad for Rebrand
Korff Wealth GIF for Rebrand
Korff Wealth logo for Rebrand
Korff Wealth newspaper ad for Rebrand
Korff Wealth newspaper ad 2 for Rebrand

the fruits

The result is a slick, and professional rebrand that the client is very happy with. Korff Wealth, with its new name, new logo, brand-new website, new social media pages, and signage for the Ballina and Lismore offices will certainly be attracting old and new customers looking for an expert, objective financial advice across wealth management, insurance and lending.

The Korff Wealth rebrand was promoted in the local newspapers to help spread the word within the local community about the finance company's recent changes. This included paid advertorials and half page ads in the Byron Echo, the Ballina Advocate and the Northern Star.

 

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Organic Search Engine Opti-‘what’?!

COVID-19 certainly changed consumer behaviour, and while our community is up and running (almost) as usual, some learned behaviours are here to stay. People are still online…a lot! It’s more important than ever to make sure your website is ticking all the boxes in Google’s eyes… yes, we are talking Organic Search Engine Optimisation. This is a long-term strategy to increase Google’s ranking of your website (and reach more potential website visitors). The time to start is now! But where do you start?

  1. Get your data

First of all, make sure your website has Google Analytics to track how people come to your website and what pages they visit on your site. Having the data gives you the power to learn more about the behaviour of YOUR target market.

  1. Learn what your customers are actually searching for

You can’t optimise your website without knowing what your customers are searching for. This is as simple as it sounds. Make a list of words and phrases people might search for when they look for your business online. You can do this by digging into your Google Analytics or doing some research with Google auto-complete or ‘related searches’. These search terms will become your keywords, and a handful or so is enough to begin with.

  1. Organically optimising for keywords.

Now, let’s optimise your website by using those keywords in content on your site. Quick tip: it is not just using the keywords on your site but also the placement of those keywords. Google takes hints about the page’s topic from the top of a webpage, so try getting your keyword in the first 25 words. But don’t get spammy! Remember to speak like a human being and not some robot!

  1. Don’t ‘set and forget’.

There is a ‘set and forget’ mentality when it comes to websites which doesn’t do anyone any good. Help Google see you as an authority by talking in-depth about what you do, why you do it, who you do it for and importantly giving insider insights to your industry. How do you do this? Create and post more content! Time to start that blog. Google is trying to help searchers get the information they need – so be helpful, discuss problems, answer questions.  The more people click on your helpful content, the higher you will rank on a Google search results page (winning!).

The best thing about organic SEO is that it’s free if you want to give it a crack yourself. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it. So, go on, give it a go! And stay tuned to learn more about how organic SEO compares to a paid SEO strategy.