Press Releases – Worth more than you think

Do press releases still have a role in a well thought-through PR strategy? Undoubtably, yes!

Press releases are the most straightforward and obvious means of obtaining PR, but many (even most) companies fail to create the kind of releases that could be most beneficial in supporting their company’s sales. Some companies fail to generate regular press releases at all.

When we asked an industry analyst one time what a communications team like ours could do to support him, his reply surprised us. He said, somewhat tersely, “Throw us a bone!” He went on to note that while he studies and carefully considers the companies he plans to invest in, his sound choice means nothing if other people don’t jump in and invest, and there is far less chance of others discovering the company if regular news doesn’t occur.

This is an interesting perspective. If a company releases an announcement a week in a stunning rush to announce their success and then goes quiet for a couple of months… their silence becomes the announcement. Clearly the company is heads down and under stress, and a customer or an investor will assume the lack of news is not good.

 Another mistake companies very often make is to assume that their awards and their customer wins are, indeed “news.” Granted, those announcements are better than “no news” in that the company is issuing some form of communication.

 However, a prospective customer is not impressed with the glorious awards that you’ve won or the customer contracts (beyond the fact that those announcements at least signal the fact you are surviving and live).  One of PR’s biggest “secrets” is that the actual news is not the award or the contract—it’s what the contract or partnership produces that will be of interest to the customer you’re attempting to win.

 How will the market or the customer’s array of choices be different as a result of the contract? What value proposition does your company fulfill that resulted in the award. There’s the news. The award or the contract is substantiating evidence that the news is, indeed, true. These are important thoughts to remember the next time you think about the most simple and straightforward PR communication–the standard press release.

There is much more we could cover, and we will do so in future blogs and through industry presentations at organizations such as Utah Technology Council (UTC), Utah’s TechX Accelerator program and elsewhere. But in the meantime, this initial discussion should provide some worthwhile food for thought. Thank you for reading!