David Meerman Scott, who recorded an interview with me a few weeks ago called “The New Rules of Press Releases: How to Write Them for Buyers, Not Only for Journalists,” says that when he used to work as a reporter, he never read a press release, then wrote a story directly from the release.
If he liked what he read, he’d pick up the phone and call the person for an interview. Come to think of it, when I worked as a reporter, I never wrote a story directly from a press release either.
David also says that he never once lifted a quote directly from a press release and used it for his article. If he wanted a quote, he’d call the source so that the quote he got was different.
Ditto for me. I’d never lift a quote directly from a press release because I didn’t want it to look like the same quote all the other reporters used.
Why, then, are many of you wasting valuable real estate on your press releases with what I call B.S. quotes, usually from the CEO? I can almost predict what most of those quotes look like:
“The ABC Widget Company is proud and delighted to be able to provide our customers with an important new widget that will dramatically increase the capabilities of our clients’ manufacturing processes so that blah-blah-blah-blah-blah….”
Your CEO doesn’t talk like that, so why do you quote him like that? Besides, that quote adds nothing to the press release.
David, an author and an expert in online marketing, says smart Publicity Hounds should be concentrating instead on press releases that are rich with keywords and keywords phrases that people would use if they were doing a Google search for the kinds of products and services you sell. That way, when you post the press releases online, you can snag potential customers who can buy from you directly, even if no journalists ever cover your company.
Your releases should also have a specific goal in mind—whether it’s leading buyers directly to the product catalog at your website or encouraging them to sign up for your electronic newsletter.
If you’ve signed up for my free tutorial called “89 Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases” and you don’t have 89 days to spend to learn the new rules, the interview I did with David will get you up to speed very quickly. It’s the perfect complement to my course.