It’s a Press Release, not an Advertisement.

August 12, 2009 at 3:25 PM Leave a comment


One of the first lessons I learned in the PR field was that I’d have to stick up for myself.  In the business, we treat writing as both an art and a science. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way.

I take care in crafting my press releases thinking about all the audiences involved, while others see the medium as just another way to push out messages.

As part of my effort to reason with marketing and technical professionals, I’ve found that sticking to my guns (education & experience), as well as appealing to logic can be a successful way of proving that my way is the right way (<– the blog isn’t called “Steele Headed” for nothing, folks.)

Here’s an excerpt of an email I sent recently explaining my point of view on press releases:

My overall goal for a press release is to gain publicity for a product or XYZ corp. as a company, while positioning us as experts in an industry or niche.

To increase the probability of publication and increase the potential audience size, this means appealing to reporters/editors of trade magazines, taking care to present newsworthy information that is of interest to their readers. Sometimes this means simplifying more technical aspects of the information so it’s quick and easy to understand, as well as leaving out self-promotional phrases.

Here’s another way to think about it: In order for our messages to reach our customers, distributors and end-users, we first need to appeal to the gate-keepers in the media. This means giving them only the critical information they need in a format that’s easy to read and comprehend. If they’re interested, then they’ll contact us and ask for more.

Ultimately we want readers of the trade publications to visit our website and buy our products, but we need to appeal to trade publication reporters/editors first to ensure we get the exposure.

I sent this note after the fifth round of repetitive edits and included specific justifications for specific changes I made (or didn’t make). It seemed to work, but I’m still waiting on a response.

Have you come across the same situation? How’d you handle it?

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Everyone needs to unplug, sometimes My “It’s 2009, and I don’t have a Smartphone” moment

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