When you need your business to gain exposure — and gain it fast — a press release might be the way to go.

The problem?

You might not have anything “press release-worthy” to write about… or do you?

Sure you do. You just need a few ideas for press releases to get you started. (And if you don’t feel like writing one yourself, I know somebody who can help you.)

Ideas for Press Releases You Can Really Use

A press release has to be newsworthy in order for it to take off. Even if you’re submitting it to distribution sites that send it to all of the places you want it to go, nobody will read it if it’s not newsworthy. Need a push in the right direction? Here are seven little nudges:

1. Making a charitable contribution or doing something to better your community.

If you’ve donated a substantial sum to a really great organization, that’s newsworthy. If you’ve just joined up with Habitat for Humanity, you’ve pioneered new ground while lobbying for a community garden, or you’re volunteering at a local soup kitchen, people want to read about it.

2. Receiving or giving an award.

Any award your company gets — even if you think it’s small or insignificant — can make a great press release. The same goes for one you give. And carry that a little farther: if you sponsor a local kids’ sports team or anything like that, put out a press release.

3. Offering a new product or service.

A lot of business owners come to me and say they don’t have anything newsworthy, and that’s when I start asking about the branches of their business. Even if they’re not in tangible sales (I work with a lot of attorneys and physicians), there’s always a new turn in their careers that we can capitalize on. If you’re a lawyer, for example, hiring someone else to work at your firm counts; a doctor can talk about how her practice is the most cutting-edge in town with the latest-and-greatest ultrasound machine. A masseuse who’s branched into aromatherapy, a book store owner who was holding a book signing… these are all ideas for press releases that I’ve put into practice for clients.

4. Hosting a contest or competition.

Lots of companies hold giveaways (well, not doctors or lawyers), so why not jump on that bandwagon? Whether you’re giving out T-shirts with your company logo at the local farmer’s market or having a Facebook photo contest, it needs to be in a press release.

5. Reaching a company goal or hitting a milestone.

You’ve been in business for five years? Congratulations! Now let the public know. Ten? Even better — you’ve outlasted most businesses. On the same token, achieving big goals (or even setting them) are great things to let the public know about.

6. Going green.

If your company is taking big strides toward being more ecologically friendly, like an attorney I know who is completely paperless, that’s worth putting out there. People love when companies show responsibility, and they’ll adore you for it.

7. Launching a new website or blog.

Kick things off in style with a press release. (I also know someone who can help you with that blog of yours — if you’re announcing it to the world, you’re going to need someone to write those posts.)

Do These Press Release Ideas Apply to You?

Now that you have a handful of hot ideas for a press release, which of them apply to you? Chances are at least one does, and if not, that’s easy to fix: hold a contest, get started on that blog, or start digging in that community garden.