There are plenty of blog posts about what you should do in press releases, and there are plenty of posts about what NOT to do in press releases. However, the reality is not everything works for every company. What’s a true knockout for sales with one company is a total abject failure for another. It all comes down to how you use what you have.
So the following examples are ways you can use what’s normally a “blunder” to your advantage. Not that you should rush out and attempt to make mistakes to see if they work for your company – just that not every issue becomes a permanent problem.
Jokes When You Aren’t Funny
Every PR blog warns against telling jokes if you don’t know what you’re doing. The problem is humor is so subjective that any one of your customers could be offended or there is a mental disconnect between your company and the content you put out. If you’re a super serious company, jokes probably won’t work.
However, if you do throw a few out and they take hold, it’s not the end of the world! People tend to love corniness and it could be a brand new direction for your company’s press releases. While you naturally want to make sure your point gets across, don’t hesitate to embrace the corniness. Even if readers roll their eyes and smile…they’re still smiling.
No Inverted Pyramid
Get everything vital in the top paragraph as quickly as possible. Who, what, where, when, why, and how before everything else. If you deviate from the inverted pyramid readers will immediately tear the newspaper up in disgust and never check out your business.
And that’s true most of the time. In fact, 99% of the time that’s exactly how you want to write your press releases. However, once in a while this format just doesn’t seem right. Instead of cramming the info into a format you know won’t work, why not try something different?
For example, if you have a new product coming out and Brad Pitt wants to endorse it, get a quote from him to lead the release. It’s unorthodox, but there’s no way the local newspaper you’re pitching to will turn it down when they see Brad’s name.
Too Much Personality
While it’s often true readers don’t like a lot of build-up with their press releases and news stories, there’s a tendency to want to eliminate any semblance of personality from press releases. People seem to think any flavor at all will spoil the release making it too “personal.”
Of course submitting an adjective-riddled short story won’t get you any front page news time, popping in a little enthusiasm never killed anyone. Like the humor above, you never know what people will like until you try it. Just be prepared to experience a backlash.
For instance, if you’re telling your community about your new delicious cupcakes, why not brag about them a little bit? Otherwise, it sounds like you’re describing office supplies or life insurance, and nobody wants to eat either of those things.
Which press release blunders ended up working out for you?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html