Press Releases Are like Sandwiches

By Jacqueline Towers            @Jackie_Twrs

The digitization of media has changed writing press releases in the same way that buying a sandwich from Subway instead of Couche-Tard changes the quality of the sandwich one receives.

Old school press releases are like a sandwich you buy from Couche-Tard when your lunch break has been cut down to 10 minutes because of meetings. You get a tiny slice of meat that may or may not be ham, a tasteless piece of cheese and two mountainously thick slabs of stale white bread. You don’t particularly enjoy the sandwich but you just don’t have time to wait in line at Subway or the nearest coffee shop– your stomach needs to be filled with something and the Couche-Tard sandwich does the job. You won’t remember the sandwich 20 minutes after eating it.


A well-written digital media release is like ordering the newest meaty sensation of a sandwich from Subway. The sandwich looked so perfect in the commercials and the meat to bread ratio looks spot on. As you walk into the store, all the delicious smells of the other sandwiches are wafting through the air. The sandwich is toasted just to your liking with all the toppings you want: it’s like all these toppings were curated just for you. How did Subway know you liked tomatoes? Oh god yes, all the pickles your heart desires. You remember the sandwich for the rest of the day and tell your coworkers about it.


The Middleman is Gone

The digitization of media has changed the end goal of what a brand wants to achieve, which is brand awareness and popularity. Before digitization, the end goal was transmitting information with the hopes that a journalist or newspaper might pick it up, but today that middleman has become irrelevant. Since consumers can pull a press release right off a brand’s website, it needs to be relatable and engaging. If readers have to sift through paragraphs of corporate lettuce to get to the real sandwich meat of your press release, you’ve lost them forever. Brands push content directly to consumers, so they have to introspect and ask themselves why the content of their press release actually matters.

Find your Secret Sauce

Digitization and use of social media in distributing and accessing press releases means that the people who are reading a brand’s content are the people who will be buying the product or service, or not buying at all. Quirky brands with a sense of humour need to stick to this style for press releases, and brands who’s consumers speak in industry jargon need to stick to a more complex tone. In the same way that a customer expects a tasty sandwich from Subway, a consumer expects concise press releases from a brand they’ve become familiar with.

All that it takes to make a great sandwich release is a little creativity and empathy for the person eating it. The same goes for media releases.

10 thoughts on “Press Releases Are like Sandwiches

  1. Jackie! Your blog was so interesting! I really enjoyed reading it and the way you compare the two different sandwiches to the different types of media releases going out into the public. My favorite sentence though is “As you walk into the store, all the delicious smells of the other sandwiches are wafting through the air.” I actually loved the word WAFTING. And I can totally relate! lol Job super well done!
    Marina 🙂


  2. Wendy

    Great analogy! Loved how you carried it throughout the post, especially the bit about “corporate lettuce” – so true! I’m not sure I agree that the middleman has become irrelevant though. Brigitte’s post offers a great example of an instance where it can still be useful. If anything, the digitization of media has pushed PR pros to become content marketers in order to write truly engaging pitches.


  3. Laetitia Cany

    Hi Jackie, wow, it was daring to compare the MR with a sandwich, but it worked! You caught my attention! I agree with Wendy on the part with the middleman being irrelevant, you can also check out Amany’s post, she talks about the reporter’s view point on the topic. Cheers.


  4. Brigitte Martin

    I love the food analogy, especially now at 5pm. The idea of finding your secret sauce is a great way to describe how it’s so important to find your own style and voice when telling your story. And I agree that the right ingredients to be in the sandwich, or else you lose your credibility and your followers.


  5. Alex

    Very creative approach! The middleman being removed is an excellent point. I agree with you regarding the fact that too much “corporate lettuce” can ruin the audience’s experience. Well done!


  6. “If readers have to sift through paragraphs of corporate lettuce to get to the real sandwich meat of your press release, you’ve lost them forever”. A story that kept my attention from beginning to end. Well done. Kathy



    What a grabbing attention title! I couldn’t resist to read your blog post to get into this funny comparison! It makes it light, fun to read and entertaining! It helps also to understand your point of view and I like the fact that you kept the comparison up to the end with the secret sauce thing. I think however not all old school press releases are bad sandwiches…. And I’m sure I could find also some digital news releases that taste like a Couche-Tard sandwich!


  8. When first reading the headline, I could not quite make the connection but you worked it out nicely and grabbed my attention right there: The comparison to sandwiches really made this article interesting and took it away from the dry subject. Great thinking! This is what caught my interest 😉


  9. Aïda M. Lopes

    “May or may not be ham”
    “The sandwich looked so perfect in the commercials”
    “meat to bread ratio”
    Just a few gems that I think you need to have somewhere in a portfolio, haha loved it!
    Your analogy was exceptional and I could actually picture both sandwiches/press releases and how I would react to each. It was an agreeable and easy read yet still very informative on what you should and shouldn’t do in order to produce a release people will react to (not too much lettuce).
    Great job!


  10. Othon Leon

    I loved your comparison with food! Very clever. You got me from the title, Jacqueline. Some of your phrases are super catchy, especially those in which you mention sandwiches, meat, ham, etc. Very creative.


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