SUBJECT: ON POINT NEWSPAPER ARTICLE TELLS YOU WHY YOU AREN’T ACTIONING YOUR PRESS RELEASES WITHIN THE OPTIMAL LINGUISTIC PARADIGMS
You spent the whole day crafting that meticulously worded press release about your Amazing Innovative product but no one came back to you. A Disruptive think piece has exposed the Shocking Truth behind your unappreciated work. Journalists -those hard working, underpaid, abused and utterly miserable creatures- don’t have time to get through the reams of press releases that burst the belt buckles of their inboxes. The poor things can barely make it through the first sentence before their attentions are diverted by yet another Boundary-Pushing announcement.
This Path-Breaking explainer -sponsored by NatWest- sheds new light on the perils of overly obvious namedropping. Rather than doing a sales pitch tell a story. For example, instead of ‘this App will make ordering Chinese food even easier’ you should say ‘Once upon a time there lived an App who possessed magical powers that made ordering Chinese food even easier.’ If in doubt ask yourself, could Steven Spielberg make an inspiring film of survival out of this press release?
PRs are advised to adapt their language as if they were talking to a clever five year old or a jolly poodle. That means trying not to use words with more than three syllables or anything that sounds French, like avant-garde (instead: ‘just amazing’).
“Quotes shouldn’t be used to state facts or cite statistics” is the article’s seventh point. A good quote can speak a thousand words- though it’s probably best if you choose one in the realm 100 words.
Finally it’s important to note that however irritated journalists may be by the incessant daily churn of press releases they depend on PR to do their jobs. With more journalists being desk-bound (in the Telegraph’s case, literally) original reporting is in short supply. Editors would struggle to fill their copy if it were not for the true launderers of the media world, the publicist. We not only clean turds for a living but drain, spin and hang them up to dry.
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