What Were They Thinking? A Wasted News Release

I read a news release the other day that was written and distributed by a competitor to one of my clients. It was sent out via a pay-for-play news service, so it probably cost a few bucks. In my opinion, it was money completely wasted because it was a news release written to impress the CEO but probably never get the attention of editors, reporters or producers.

It could have been a compelling, interesting announcement for the general public or business and personal finance editors. Instead, the headline and text were nothing but industry jargon; perhaps fine for editors of a few trade publications and online industry websites, but most likely absolutely bewildering to anyone outside the field. I would be surprised if anyone outside the field read past the headline or first sentence. So, why did they send out such a mangled news release to an audience outside their field? I don’t know, except perhaps the wording made the CEO happy.

Before writing a news release or even sending out a two sentence story/blog item proposal, one of the first questions to ask is: What is my intended audience? If you’re trying to tout your company or services to a broader audience, you have to attract their attention — and that’s usually not with unfamiliar or strange words and perplexing phrases. That kind of writing won’t effectively get the attention you’re seeking, no matter how much money you spend to get it distributed.

2013 © Donn Pearlman & Associates