Wednesday, April 29, 2009

When Press Releases Go Wrong

Press releases. The poor man's news broadcast.

Actually that came across wrong. I understand the need for press releases and actually write them quite regularly but I was trolling through one of my fave media sites, Gawker and ran across this story of an attempt by Life Stylist Blair French to put out a press release doing what many publicists do, attach a client to a current event for relevance, and it totally came off as a FAIL. Read here for an example of when press releases go wrong.

From my own experience there are a few rules businesses and artists should follow when going the press release route (Yes I have a list - I'm in a list mood today)

The Brand GURU's Top 10 Press Release Rules

1. Everything does not need to be broadcasted via a press release.

Yes we all are happy that you changed your myspace profile pic but come on...

2. A quality press release takes more then 10 minutes to write (Actually that should read: A quality press release SHOULD take more then 10 minutes to write). Click here for all the components of a release.

3. Press release distribution services are expensive so plan accordingly.

4. Spell check before putting your release over the wire.

5. Choose your wire services wisely.

6. Make your release as engaging and interesting as possible without making it seem forced.

7. When using current events as a opener for your release make sure your business, brand or expert makes sense to what you are attaching yourself to. (See the above mentioned story for an example of this not being adhered to).

8. Make sure to always include contact information.

9. When possible include facts, sources, statistics or quotes from relevant authorities to make your release more professional and factual.

10. Include a comprehensive yet effective boilerplate that gives a brief description of who you or your company is.

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