The humble press release, often treated as a duty, a final task, a “just because it’s always been done” tactic. News announcements have their roots in town criers and bulletins. Today, they have become a construct, rather than a communication tool. Just make sure you answer How, What, Why, Where, When. It’s that’s simple, right? The obvious answer is no. Press Releases are possibly the most important communications tool you have at your immediate disposal.
Press Releases Are Critical Communication Tools
This humble release serves so many purposes, raising it to the status of “most important” tactic in the marketing mix. While the national ad campaign or website updates might seem important, the press release is, to most brands, the indispensable tactic.
Unfortunately, it is rarely well crafted, despite the fact they must serve many duties:
- Announcing new product, service or event to the public, media and your specific audiences
- Establishing the authority and credibility of the branded product, service or corporation
- Representing the news and history (after the fact) of your brand
- Representing the very image of your brand
- Putting your message in front of audiences in the most expedient and urgent way possible
- Inciting interest from mainstream media, where a single mention could drive major growth to your objectives
- Informing other stakeholders such as investors, partners, employees, distributors
- Driving qualified traffic to your website
- Creating inbound links of high quality to your branded website.
Super Duper Brand Announces
If your press release start with something like “My brand announces…” it is doomed to mediocrity, which in PR terms means it will disappear into the press release void. While it’s true wire services deliver your releases, when paid, to newsrooms, journalists, producers and editors, to be read, your release must go far beyond, “Today, XYZ Announces…”
The Persona method is deceptively simple. We write our releases for clients as a journalist. In fact, we go so far as to have a journalist write it. They ask the same questions of you, that an arms-length journalist would. They write it up as an arms-length journalist would.
The headline states a problem/solution in classic narrative, journalist style. In classic pyramid style—most important points first—the how, why, when, what, where are answered—but in a journalistic story style.