Joan, also known as The Publicity Hound, is adamant: Go ahead and break these 3 old rules about writing press releases:
- Write for journalists – (No, write for clients, so they’ll find you on the Web)
- Only write when there is legitimate news – (No, write whenever you want to get noticed by clients on the Web)
- You have to include the "5 W’s" in the first paragraph – (No, that’s for journalists, but we’re writing for clients so they can find you on the Web)
On the other hand, Joan says there are 3 rules you can’t break:
- People don’t want to read a press release that’s loaded with hype
- Avoid using words like "spectacular," "cutting-edge," and other adjectives
- Unless you are writing a press release specifically for people in your own industry, never use industry jargon
Great, Joan. I studied journalism in my undergraduate years, and writing press releases go against the grain… the journalist in me says, "but this isn’t really news! It’s a cheap attempt to generate publicity, it’s so blatantly obvious to any journalist."
But you are right, this isn’t about getting a news story published. Today’s press releases are about getting found on the Web, and providing information to the targeted clients we are trying to reach. To them, our stuff may be just what they are looking for. Our press release isn’t written for the front page of the NY Times.
Maybe I’m the only one who struggles with this "new" kind of press release/marketing tactic? Maybe everybody else out there already knows this and I’m the last one to the party. Hit the comment link below and tell me your thoughts.
To learn more from Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound, try this: http://snipurl.com/Press_Tutorial