Do your press releases stand out?

I’ve written a lot of press releases, and I’ve read a thousand times as many. However, I’ve never had the job of writing one press release after another for the same company, or even the same product. You may well be in that unenviable situation. If that’s the case, I would imagine that it must be hard to do anything other than go through the motions. However, from the receiving end, I can tell you that 99% of all press releases look like they were written by somebody with that mindset. Somebody who’s convinced themselves that there’s some rigid format which must be followed, that a “corporate style” devised in the distant past must be followed slavishly, and that anything with a bit of personality would be frowned on by someone, somewhere. And the reason why they don’t question this? Simple: it makes their life easier.

Take a look at the last press release your company put out, and ask yourself this question: “If I was an editor wading through 50 press releases from different companies, would this one stand out from the crowd?” It doesn’t need to be through presentation (although it could be). It might stand out simply by the product’s sheer technical merit. But are you making the most of the material you have to work with?

Discussion

  1. Richard Stone - Technical PR consultant at Stone Junction

    I think the biggest failure of press release writers in UK technical PR is that they simply don’t change.

    Last year we surveyed a small mountain of journalists in design engineering, electrical engineering, electronics and some other related areas and we found out something really interesting.

    We were doing it all wrong!

    Well, no – not quite. We were doing nearly everything right. But specifically we hadn’t accounted for some changes in technology over the last few years that have affected the way a journalist can read a press release as it lands in their inbox. I’m happy to share the details with anyone who wants to talk about them – 01785 225416.

    Anyway, this is just one example of hundreds over the years in which I’ve spotted myself doing things the wrong way and changed.

    My advice to anyone who is looking for someone to write PR material for them? Don’t listen to anyone who says, ‘I know how this is done, I’ve been doing it for years’.

    Look for people who say, ‘We’re improving all the time, we’re changing things for the better regularly. And we’re open to new ideas’.

    The irony is that they will probably be the ones who really know how it’s done.

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