06 Oct Forget Everything You Know About Writing Press Releases
Several years ago I learned how to write a news release.
I learned the formula while Facebook was finding its way off the Harvard campus. I learned the writing style before Twitter was a word. I learned from retired news journalists who never heard of social media.
Apparently, so did every other marketer writing press releases.
I cringe every time I read the news section of a website. The “leading” maker of some product “streamlines” some process in some “revolutionary” way. Hyperboles, what?
Where’s the story?
We tend to write press releases thinking that some unknown journalist will find it, add their twist and get it in their paper for all the world to read. Or maybe we’re aware that journalists rarely write a story from a press release and we think our prospects will read the article on Yahoo News and be blown away.
We now consume more news from posts on Facebook, tweets, through forwarded emails and other social avenues than from print papers.
While the delivery of news has changed, I still hear marketers talk about using a template for news releases. Repeat after me:
- The new news release doesn’t have a template.
- The new news release is a story.
- A story is an engaging, creative piece that encourages readers to share.
Quit selling your product in a news release. Tell a story and your consumers might actually read what you wrote. Better yet, they might spread your story on their social networks. And if you’re really good, you may turn some browsers into buyers. All for telling a story.