There are so many deceased press releases in the world they could make their own Parisian Catacombs, with enough left over to fill several graveyards. Press releases die all the time, but it’s not THEIR fault. That falls on to whoever wrote it, or edited it, or released it, or promoted it – quite a few people touched the press release, and someone along the line killed it.
Let’s look at the life of one lonely press release and witness its various demises. Somewhere along the line, you might see where your own press release bit the dust.
Your company is set to release their newest product, the energy saving Zap-o-Matic. Your team wants to spread the word of how much money Zap-o-Matic users can save on electric bills. So you get to work on writing up a great press release.
Somewhere down the line, though, someone makes a change. Seems that the company would rather focus on how “modern” the Zap-o-Matic is, as reports are that early users feel very sleek and hip when they buy it.
Ok then. You get to work on the new piece. But then it comes down the pipeline customers are even more impressed with how easy to use the Zap-o-Matic is. It’s taken away hours of time they normally spend on electronic issues. What in the world should you focus the press release on?
Before you released the product to the masses, it would’ve been a good idea to get an idea what the Zap-o-Matic’s strength was. This way there’s no delay of the press release, which will probably end up dying when some other report comes in. Meanwhile, all these customers love your product, but aren’t talking about it since you’re holed up in your office making the 50th set of edits to your release.
Out in the World
Your company learned from the previous goof and has now vowed to hold a focus group for the latest edition of the Zap-o-Matic, the Zap-o-Matic 2 (they spent a long time on that name). Customers have unanimously decided the cost benefits are the best part of the product so everyone agrees to focus the campaign around that.
Unfortunately, perhaps in haste to make up for last time, you rush through the press release. If you had slowed down a bit, you would’ve seen there were quite a few mistakes. Between spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and bad information, it might as well have been typed up by a chimpanzee.
You can take one bit of solace, though – there’s no way it’s getting printed anywhere! The first big goof a reporter sees, the press release is immediately killed. Dead.
Zap-o-Matic 2 was a commercial failure, in part because of the press release debacle, but also in part due to it having faulty electronics inside. So it’s very important the Zap-o-Matic 3 is well publicized as the public must know it won’t burn down their house this time.
So you do the proper research and take your time writing the press release. A few of your colleagues look it over – it’s perfect! Time to send it along. To your delight, a few papers pick it up, including a nationally syndicated one.
However, you just can’t help yourself. After a few days and the press release still hasn’t been printed, you start to freak out. You call up every paper that picked up your press release (and some that didn’t) and demand to know what’s going on.
Sure enough, your press release is tossed unceremoniously in the trash. Instead of sending a polite email, you chose to berate the busy journalists, and they murdered your press release. Maybe Zap-o-Matic 4 stands a chance – if the company doesn’t fold before then!
What are some ways you’ve accidentally contributed to the death of a press release?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html