Don’t let the old-fashioned approach fool you—no matter what some may say, the press release will never die.
The communications tool can still be a valuable asset when developed properly (such as avoiding jargon).
Though the annual ritual of revamping your personal life and starting things off fresh in a new year has come and gone, there’s still time to refresh your approach to press releases.
At Chempetitive Group, we have resolved to adhere to the following three press release resolutions—and invite you to do the same:
1. Realize that a press release is not a strategy.
Many view public relations as simply issuing press releases. It’s unfortunate the acronym “PR” can stand interchangeably for “public relations” and “press release,” as that helps further the perception they are synonymous.
Putting out a press release does not guarantee meaningful coverage and reaching relevant audiences, no matter how high the view counter climbs. For a press release to be an effective tool of public relations, it needs to be part of a greater strategy that keeps you on the radar even when you don’t have news.
Use social networks, company blogs, networking and old-fashioned relationship nurturing to stay in touch with your audience and reporters. Distribute content, offer insights on industry trends and share news you find interesting—even if it’s from a competitor.
This will all improve the likelihood of your announcements garnering the attention you seek, and when your news deserves it.
2. Only announce news.
A press release is not a sales tool.
The audiences of a press release are journalists who cover news. There are alternative types of content and channels that do a better job than a press release for promoting every new customer win.
Putting sales information in a press release weakens the value that you provide to reporters, thereby damaging your relationship and making it more likely for them to be skeptical about your “news” in the future.
3. Say something interesting.
PR pros should permanently banish the words “excited,” “thrilled,” “proud” or other euphemisms for “happy” for quotations in their press releases.
These statements lack news value—no one talks like that in real life. If you can’t come up with something interesting and natural to say, it may not be news—or you should find a new expert.
Approach this part of the release by thinking about how you would describe the news to someone else in the industry. Think about why people should pay attention to your release. What commentary can you offer that will change the current industry conversation?
The expert that you quote should be a thought leader already; look to build upon that and it will dramatically increase the odds of journalists wanting to hear more.