I don’t read them, for the most part. Here’s why:
They are structured and written as if I have all the time in the world to read them.
They are an email attachment I don’t want to open.
They include quotes that are obviously made up.
And some of them don’t actually pertain to any real news at all.
Now, the last thing the world needs is another blogger complaining about press releases. We blogger types actually need this information. We want you to send it to us. It’s just… I’m kind of busy. Super busy, actually. So what would be great is if you could give me the info in bits. Don’t make me read a sentence if I don’t have to. I’m not lazy, really, it’s just that I have so much to read.
A lot of you know this. There’s a team of public relations people out there – PetersGroup folks, for example – who are just so on the ball. They know exactly what you need, they deliver great information, they hook you up with a great interview… all the stuff that makes me open their emails as soon as I receive them.
Then there are others who seem to think I’m some kind of sucker. Not all corporations can be “the leading” whatever in whatever field. And the run-on sentence leads, in which you describe the entire history of your organization before you tell me what it is you’re writing about today, those can go.
And just, in general, a press release that’s written as if you don’t really want me to know what the company is really about… that’s not intrigue, people, that’s annoying.
And the other thing is, I know some of these bogus press releases don’t come from you. They come from your client who insists – pays you – to issue a press release on these non-stories. Fine, I can understand those releases once in a while.
But there’s no mystery to all this, I think. Don’t worry about following a particular style or making it sound like something it’s not. Just tip me off to a good story in a quick and casual way. In the body of an email. With photos and captions, if you have them. That would be great.
Thanks, and keep them coming.