Press Releases and Collateral: Don’t Blur the Lines

Ultimately, press releases that begin with describing a product or service as “the best,” include self-congratulations, or focus on executive flattery are of absolutely no use to reporters. While they might make executives feel good, hype-y releases will be the first to get tossed, because journalists simply don’t have the time to wade through the hyperbole. In short, they’ll ignore yours and move on to the next guy’s (or gal’s) press release.

That’s why the most effective PR people insist on press releases that have real news value, are written in an inverted pyramid, and follow Associated Press style. This agreed-upon common language makes it easy to deliver the news and improves chances of gaining coverage. This is not to say that marketing messages can’t or shouldn’t be woven throughout a release, but toning it down and remembering the real audience for a release is just sensible PR, and doing so will earn your company the respect of journalists.

Collateral is collateral, and press releases are press releases. And while a little blurring of the lines between marketing and PR is acceptable, staying in one’s lane is the best way to go.

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