New Year’s PR Resolution: Refresh Your Approach to Press Releases

As you prepare for the annual ritual of revamping your personal life and starting things off fresh in a new year, it might be time to refresh your approach to press releases. Don’t let their age 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 so it avoids jargon. Therefore, at Chempetitive Group, we have resolved to adhere to the following press release resolutions in 2016:

  1. 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 and good old-fashioned relationship nurturing and networking to stay in touch with your audience and reporters year round. 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 news announcements garnering the attention it deserves, when it deserves it. Which bring us to #2…

  2. We will only announce news. A press release is not a sales tool. The audience of a press release is the press: journalists who cover news. There are better, alternative types of content and channels than a press release for promoting every new customer win. Putting out sales information in a press release weakens the value the media see you providing, thereby damaging your relationship and making it more likely for them to be skeptical about your “news” in the future.

  3. We will only say something interesting. For any quotations in a press release, the words “excited,” “thrilled,” “proud,” (insert euphemism for happy here) should all be permanently banned. Not only do these statements lack news value — no one actually 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 may need to find a new expert. Try to 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? Your expert being quoted should be a thought leader already; look to build upon that and it will dramatically increase the odds of journalists coming to you to hear more.

Do you have a PR (read: public relations) resolution for 2016? Let us know what it is. Tweet us @Chempetitive