Mandy Collins & Associates

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So what?

That’s the question you should be asking before you send out that press release. If you can’t answer that question, I guarantee most people won’t get past the first paragraph.

Case in point – I was recently asked to review a release for a big multinational company. They’d had a report compiled about their progress in a particular area, and drafted a release to do some bragging.

The trouble was, the release didn’t answer that basic question. There was no sense of impact, no sense of anything worthwhile to report on. There were a lot of those words you find in media releases: leader, innovative, unique… but there was really nothing to suggest any of those words were true.

The report they were referencing is conducted annually, but the ‘evidence’ trotted out went back 20 years. There wasn’t a single quote from the report. There were no facts, figures, stats, and most importantly, no stories. Nothing that showed us what they were claiming they’d achieved. Nothing that would make a reader say to a friend or lover, “Hey! I read this really interesting thing about…” or “Did you see that so-and-so had done…?”

Nada. Zilch. Nothing.

I sent it back for a rewrite, and the company decided not to release it, because they realised that, actually, the report itself had very little substance and they couldn’t find anything quantifiable to brag about.

The lesson here is really one of quality over quantity (of press releases) and impact as an overarching principle. Read that release and ask yourself if it answers the “So what?” question. If not, move swiftly along and look for something that will really demonstrate the positive impact your organisation is having on its clients, customers, community, and the world at large – and write about that.

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