5 Tips To Creating The Perfect Press Release
The other day, I was going through my emails. Nothing unusual there.
Often I get a sudden sweep of promotional emails from other businesses showcasing their wares in the hope that I might be interested in them for one reason or another. Then one stopped me in my tracks. Not for its content but how the content was presented.
With a fairly speedy eye, I managed to count four different fonts in one email of varying sizes, yet this had been sent by a senior PR account manager (I shan’t name any names here.) I was horrified.
The products might have been very nice (the truth was, I didn’t hang around on the page to find out) yet I was so overwhelmed by what looked like four different people had written the email. What the lovely PR person was trying to tell me was completely lost in translation. Sadly. The next thing I noticed was the name of the sender and their email signature. Ouch. That was bound to stick with me.
For someone who works in PR, I always take notice of who has sent a press release. If it’s shoddy, I will make a note of the name, whether I consciously mean to or not. If it’s outstanding, I will do the same and remember them equally. It’s just one of those things. I instantly get an image of that person and then wonder how they got to be in a senior PR role.
In this business, it’s all about connections. It’s not always about what you know but who you know. We remember names and jot them down in little black books. That’s how it works. The next time, I come across the name of the PR person, I will remember the limp press release. Unfair? Well, it’s all about setting an impression. Whether that’s good or bad is entirely down to you.
So, in today’s post, we’re going to focus on the little slips and trips that even the best of us fall victim to.
You’re invisible so look good
Remember that the recipient of your email cannot see you. They don’t know who you are (more often than not.) So, it doesn’t matter how good your products are, what your office looks like or even how your sales charts are doing, if your press release looks disjointed and unpolished, you might as well be sitting in a cardboard box, busking.
Use one font but no more than two
If you are putting together a cunning press release, consider how it’s going to look for the recipient. Putting together a world-class killer press release on your desk top might look completely unreadable on the other person’s mobile. As more and more of us use our mobiles to converse, shop, bank and search, do a test send you your own mobile first to see how it looks first before sending.
Get visual first
Looks are everything. Basic psychology tells us that we process visuals faster that we process text. People are going to look at the way something is laid out first, before they read it. It doesn’t matter how many action verbs or keywords you stuff into the piece, if it’s not visually appealing, the message will be lost.
Remember email attention spans
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that you have someone’s attention if you send something by email. Our attention spans are just as fast on email as they are on social media. Hence the reason why companies are finding that email marketing isn’t as easy as it used to be. Your impact on email has got to be just as striking as if it was on SM. Use images to convey your message. Again, visual impact is the key. Floaty fonts won’t cut it. You know what the message is, they won’t. So make it clear and leave the fancy fonts to someone else.
Don’t be lazy on cutting and pasting
Lastly, be wary of cutting and pasting to save time. If you are taking something from a Word doc for example, watch the font and the size too. You might think large print has impact but for the recipient, they will feel they are being shouted at.
So the next time you send out a press release about a new product or service take time to consider how that piece is going to look.
Never mind the deadline you’ve been set, take time over it. It could mean your reputation.