How to Leverage Current Events in Your Press Release

There’s a lot to be said about keeping your eye on current events when writing up your latest press release. There are a couple of reasons why. If you send out your press release on a big news day, such as the recent day of the Japanese earthquake, then watch out. Most outlets will be busy with bigger and better things. On the other hand, if you don’t watch the news closely enough and send out an insensitive or badly timed press release, watch out for bad press!

You can’t just plead ignorance, either. Being careful to use current events in the best way possible can lead to big things. How can you take advantage?

Tread Carefully

As said before, you must be careful about leveraging current events. If people think you’re trying to make money off a tragedy, then you will incur the wrath of the common folk. And it doesn’t have to be a Japan-sized tragedy, either. Even using the closing of a local business in your press release could have a negative impact. Remember, that store was somebody’s dream!

If you are going to use a negative event in your press release, try and keep things as positive as you can. Not in a “bad things happened but now you can buy our stuff” positive, but “let’s take this bad situation and move forward” kind of way.

One easy way to do this is to not even mention your products at all. Instead, take the time to amend your press release to say how your company is supporting efforts to amend the tragedy. This will likely catch more attention than anything else.

Good News

Hey, it’s not all doom and gloom all the time. Sometimes there’s a great story that catches everyone’s attention. In this case, you should feel to run with your press release!

Remember Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice? That was a heartwarming story that made the rounds across America. If you were writing up a press release about your new line of microphones, then you were in the money! Think of all the great lines you could come up with: “With our new line of microphones, Ted Williams won’t be the only one with a golden voice!”

I’d say as long as you remember to write your press release with respect for the people and events involved in the news, then you should be fine. Companies have forgotten this in the past and have been burned as a result. Don’t be one of them in your journey to gain attention!

Have you successfully leveraged current events in your PR campaigns? Share your experiences and tips below.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here:

As usual, good advice from Mickie. I would like to add a viewpoint from the global trade press, a hapless recipient of the ‘ten zillion” news-releases that arrive uninvited on a seemingly endless 24/7 conveyor belt.
Unlike our affluent friends in the consumer media, the trade press employs relatively few journalists. Many respected publications, especially those outside the USA, often have only an Editor for each title. Common sense indicates that these individuals do not have the time available to drive around an entire country to seek-out hot stories and, so, are largely dependent on wire services – such as eReleases – and the daily avalanche of texts that arrive from around the world.
While it is true that the article ultimately appearing in the publication often does not quote very much of the hype in the original news-release, it is equally true that the article would not have been generated if the news-release had not alerted the desk-bound Editor the existence of a ripping yarn.
So, whether you are an in-house press officer or an executive in a PR consultancy, the health of the trade press – worldwide – depends on your ‘transfer of useful information’ to the right publication for each message. (‘One size fits all’ is now passé.)
All that these snowed-under individuals ask is that you use jargon-free English, omit local idioms, and observe the conventions of journalism. As the bulk of the daily blizzard of input is, as Mickie says, “horribly written,” delivering texts that meet the criteria of Editors is a surefire way to get your story to the top of the mountain – and the reverse is true!
As an aside, I am disappointed that so many comments are confined to “me too” and “hear, hear” minimalism. Yes, everybody is busy nowadays, but Mickie has a business to run and yet finds time to share his considerable knowledge and experience, free of charge.
So, it would be refreshing if a few more recipients of his largesse took just a five or ten minutes, once a week, to share their expertise – helping to build this website into a valuable resource for the young tail-waggers now entering the worldwide ‘market communications’ industry.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *