When non-PRs write press releases, it shows how bad traditional PR has become
Just as many marketers are moving on from the format, more and more non-marketers are turning their hand to drafting press releases. You have founders who want to bring attention to their young business. You have product managers in Amazon-influenced institutions trying to clarify the go-to-market picture of what they are developing.
And in almost every case, what you end up with is horrible pastiche.
People expect press releases to have a big gaudy (probably unrealistic) headline. They expect it to blow the trumpet of how great the company is and what a big moment this is.
They expect the quote to say “we are excited to announce” and simply repeat what’s in the rest of the text without any more information.
Basically, they expect it to be almost completely full of shit.
At this point, I should emphasise: it’s not their fault.
When most people hear “write a press release”, they don’t hear “write a simple and clear explanation of why this matters.” Because, to be fair, most press releases are far from that.
What they *should* be doing is the same as what any PR worth their salt is doing today. Forget the model of things like press releases, blog posts etc. Think without that baggage and answer the question:
Why should anyone care.
Forget the press release – start with the pitch. Get one sentence and 3x bullet points together to convey the facts.
Instead of a quote, write a short post (think the length of a Facebook post) about why you are the founder/ project leader think this is so important. Then look at it again and ask “why”. Then look at it again and ask “why”. Then look at it again and ask “why”.
Repeat at least 5x and you should have a nice little personal quote/ explanation of the significance. If it’s longer than a paragraph, edit it back down.
And if none of this worked? Maybe it’s not a story after all. Instead of megaphoning it out to the world, think about how it might fit into a future announcement or if there’s a specific audience to share it with instead. A short video about it, shared to your customers, could create a lot more value.
This is a 5 minute post, more stream of consciousness than anything. But it should reveal that there’s little value for anyone in chaining ourselves to PR’s rusting relics.