I just got a call from a Publicity Hound who asked how to make old news sound new.
He’s writing a press release stating that his state bar association drafted a resolution to support something that somebody else did. But they passed it on Monday. And today is Thursday. He might not have the press release done until tomorrow. So how can he make the four-day-old news sound new?
Easy, I said. Do what reporters do. Use a present- or future-tense lead.
For example, when I worked as a reporter and covered a city council meeting, and the city council passed a resolution raising the local sales tax, I would never write:
“Anywhere City Council last night passed a resolution approving a 1 percent sales tax increase.”
That’s old news. So I wrote it like this instead:
“Consumers who buy products in Anywhere, Wisconsin will pay an extra 1 percent sales tax, starting March 1.”
The guy who called me would simply write a lead that says his group “is supporting” or “will support” whatever it is they’re supporting.
If you’re struggling with press releases (who isn’t?), sign up for my free email tutorial “89 Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases.” For anyone who self-promotes, it’s like getting a master’s degree in press release writing. And PR and marketing people can add it to their resume under “Professional Development.”