Written by Anthony Demangone
Press releases are fairly common, and many credit unions issue them. With that in mind, here's a great article that should help you perform a press release audit.
In 5 Ways to Create Winning Press Releases, James Crawford gives us great advice on how to get the most out of your PR efforts. As a former journalist, I couldn't agree more.
- Make sure your news is "newsworthy."
- Think actively and use "pithy" language.
- Don't sound like a machine.
- Make it easy to find you.
- Push and pull.
Please read the article for all the glorious details. But here's a snippet on point number "3."
Most press releases read like they were composed by zombies. They cling to a rigid, outdated template and as a result, one announcement seems like all the rest. To stand out, avoid these common bad habits:
- Over-used descriptive phrase such as: “XYZ Company, the leading provider of. . .” Far too many press releases claim to come from “the leader.” It can’t possibly be true that every company issuing news is the market leader. If you really are, fine, but don’t start the release with something because you are trying to sound more important than you really are.
- Unnecessary formal verbiage: Cut the fluff. A lead sentence like, “ABC Company today announced that. . .” isn’t saying anything. Yes, we know you’re announcing something, by virtue of the fact that you’re issuing a press release. Just say “ABC Co. today launched its new product” or “opened a new office” or whatever the announcement is, and then get on with it.
- Superfluous executive quotes: “I am very pleased by…” said CEO John Smith. If the occasion merits a press release, one hopes the person in charge is happy about it, but you can skip the quote telling us so. Customers tend to ignore such self-serving statements, and creditable journalists rarely print a canned press release quote.
As a former journalist, I like this article. In order to write effective press releases, you need to put yourself in the shoes of a reporter. They are on deadline. They have a limited amount of time and focus, just like the rest of us. Press releases that highlight true news, are written crisply, and that provide useful information that is easy to find and digest - those are the press releases that are used.
And good press management is so much more than press releases. It is the development of relationships - with editors and reporters.
So, two questions to close out today.
- How do your press releases measure up against the article's advice?
- When is the last time someone from your credit union had lunch with the local business reporter?
Have a great weekend, guys!
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