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Posts Tagged ‘Press Release’

5 Things Wrong with the Press Release

PR ER

Once upon a time, there was a tool called the press release.

It was the largest hammer, longest nail, and strongest muscle all in one. Flacks were able to write commercial-esque documents in hopes of national pick-up. Clients were happy because of their approved (and finely crafted) 18-paragraph quotes. PR agencies were happy because they had a sure-fire journalism story written with fluidity.

Today? No one seems happy.

Releases don’t get that universal attention. Clients don’t get infomercial-length quotes. The Web certainly can’t stand such content, what with Google’s pet Panda traipsing all over free news wires like a scene from Godzilla. So, what happened? After the jump, we take a look…

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BEWARE: ESPN’s Darren Rovell May Have Stolen Your Press Release

rovell tweet

Yeah, but then again, so is this. So, we’re used to that from you.

Attention all flacks, the next time you send a press release to ESPN, be sure you understand what “copyright infringement” means. Why do we share that bit of professional advice? This article from Deadspin tells you everything you need to know, specifically about bottom feeder and bag-of-nothing Darren Rovell.

If you don’t watch ESPN, you’re not missing much. Here’s a guy that was at ESPN to talk sports business, which is to say he was the equivalent of a beat reporter at city hall who was thrust into healthcare because someone quit. That said, here’s his shtick … and you won’t believe this is his business.

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5 Reminders for Your Next Press Release

CNN gibberish yujyuj

Everyone has to do something to get your attention

FACT: Press releases are a necessity in this business. We know it. The media tolerates it. Clients love it. And that’s why we do it.

FICTION: Media outlets will print your press release as-is. Child, please. If that was the case, do you know how many reporters would be out of business because some fat-fingered flack misspelled a myriad of words and didn’t really care about spell check because lunch and stuff.

That’s why it is always nice to provide a public service announcement for a few niceties on you may want to either instruct others to write a press release to get read, or just do it right yourself this time. Regardless, they work and maybe your last release didn’t, so we love you.

Get your pencil and Moleskine. Here we go…

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Worst Press Release of the Week? Oh Yeah.

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“One customer, Bryce Stave of ___, TX says, ‘My wife and I are ecstatic with our new garage door opener.  We put the baby to bed and don’t have to worry about waking him up when we head out to the bar.’”

OK, but what about when you and the wife stumble in after a round or three…or ten? And how many had you downed before you gave us that gem of a quote?

Brace yourselves, dear readers: you will be shocked to learn that the great state of Texas does not count “Bryce Stave” as a resident.

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Amazon Creates a Press Release in 14 Tweets

In a cool variation on the press release delivered via Twitter, Amazon‘s PR team announced the product rollout campaign for its new Kindle reader in a series of 14 tweets*, each focused on a different element of the new product and bearing the hashtag #firehdx. Here they are:

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Upcoming Webcast: How to Get Your Press Release Read

megaphoneWant to increase the visibility of your press release? Once you hit “publish,” your news release is searchable on the Web. Boosting your Google search ranking and getting journalists to write about your news is a crucial skill for PR professionals.

Join Jason Chupick, VP of editorial news operations at MWW and founding editor of our very own PR Newser, for a one-hour webcast discussion on how to optimize your press releases. He’ll discuss simple hacks and strategies that will ensure that your news gets read. Learn how to choose the right keywords to bring your release to the top of search results, how to get the best quotes and how to use social media to amplify your voice. You’ll also have the opportunity to get answers to all your PR questions with Jason in this interactive webcast.

This session is scheduled for Wednesday, July 24 from 4-5pm ET. Sign up now to reserve your spot!

MTA Press Release Hypes Org’s Fierce ‘Storm-Fighting Posture’

This week we told you that no, the press release isn’t dead. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority sort of proved our point today with a “Superstorm Nemo” release that goes to great lengths to explain how the incredibly awesome MTA is so on top of things this time, you guys (and that they won’t screw up royally like they did in 2010).

Beyond claiming that “The MTA network has assumed a storm-fighting posture in response to the severe weather forecast”, the release also takes time to hype its “fleet of snow and ice-busting equipment.”

Now, we don’t want to give anyone the impression that this release stands as an example of great writing or anything–the rest of it is mostly boilerplate stuff about how subway and bus service might be a little less convenient than usual this weekend due to all the ice and snow and notices reminding drivers to “operate at reduced speeds due to wet roadways”. But that first sentence did get our attention. Cheeky!

So if you’re going to issue a press release on behalf of an organization famous for bureaucratic inefficiency and poor customer service, you might want to slip in at least one clever phrase to make sure that it’s not too terribly dull.

No, the Press Release Is Not Dead

We’ve recently noticed a good deal of dialogue about the future of the press release. Some seem to feel that the press release–with its self-lauding and company-specific spin–is, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant in a media world that runs on in-the-minute social media. Others, however, feel that PR professionals may simply need to tweak the way they approach both the releases themselves and the journalists they pitch. We tend to find ourselves in the second camp.

Lisa Gerber of Big Leap makes some good points in her recent blog post on the subject. While she concedes that journalists are wary of PR-generated press releases because of potential bias, she still feels that writing them and putting them out there is worth it–assuming you have your finger on the pulse of the audience you want to reach and an understanding of what writers do and do not find newsworthy.

“…please, stop asking your PR agency to crank out another news release on the upgrade of your manufacturing equipment; something in which only your mother and your CEO will take interest…”

Amen! The more spammy/niche/look-what-we-can-do information you send, the less likely writers and editors are to pay attention when you send them something that’s actually relevant to their audience.

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North Korean Archaeologists Re-Discover Ancient Unicorn’s Lair

UnicornBefore we leave for the weekend we feel an obligation to share what is, without even the slightest doubt, the very best press release of the week (if not the year).

This one comes to us from the tragically, hilariously misnamed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and its news agency, KCNA (don’t even bother clicking on the link if you want to retain your sanity).

According to the amazing release we’ve captured via screenshot below, archaeologists representing the DPRK and its Very Important History Institute “have recently reconfirmed a lair of the unicorn rode by King Tongmyong, founder of the Koguryo Kingdom (B.C. 277-A.D. 668).” Note the use of the word “reconfirmed”–it was there all along, but they just had to make sure.

Does it get better? Oh yes.

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Google’s First Press Release

Google celebrated its 11th birthday over the weekend, and to honor the occasion, the folks at The Next Web dug up their first press release. The headline of the release, from June 7, 1999, reads: “Google Receives $25 Million in Equity Funding.”

The release included a statement from Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page, “We are delighted to have venture capitalists of this caliber help us build the company…We plan to aggressively grow the company and the technology so we can continue to provide the best search experience on the web.” And aggressively grow they did.