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.