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What’s the Point of Writing Press Releases?

Too often, messages just become part of business as usual. We are getting a new patent, write a release. John Smith joins the firm, write a release. Companies X and Y announce a merger, write a release.

For over 20 years, globotext has been translating press releases, earnings reports, marketing materials, websites, you name it. We write, translate, and transcreate culturally sensitive material – and we do this in over 30 languages.

Therefore, I feel entitled to ask the question, “Why write press releases?”

Most of the releases we see are disclosures. Based on regulatory demands, the need to document a new product or service, warnings, to make a point, legal or otherwise. And then there is the self-promotion category.

Few of these releases are driven by the desire to change behavior, to promote an alternative way of thinking, grapple with a problem, or promote innovative approaches to crises. Event announcements and warnings of perilous products are perhaps those that come closest to eliciting a behavior response.

There seem to be some significant disconnects. Not to suggest that a press release is a stand-alone communiqué. To be effective, it will need to be bundled with other messaging, the offers of products of services, guidelines for accessibility, and if a fundamental behavior shift is desired, a really good reason for following its prompting.

Too often, messages just become part of business as usual. We are getting a new patent, write a release. John Smith joins the firm, write a release. Companies X and Y announce a merger, write a release.

What if each time a release was written, it was tied to the desired outcome that follows the organization’s vision? Connecting the company’s values with those of its clients/consumers. Creating a shared reason for communicating. Paving the way to measurable outcomes.

462450797_1200pxToo often the company vision sits in a lofty annual report or vision statement somewhere in About Us on a website. What if that vision were to leave the boardroom and make its way into the entire organization, woven into the fabric of all communications that emanate from the company?

As someone who sees thousands of releases every month, I believe this would certainly humanize these messages. Most feel like boilerplate copy that has been crafted by a dozen people to meet generalized needs.

True communications need heart and soul to connect. That’s why storytelling is gaining new traction in the world of communications, especially branding.

There’s room for many companies, and their agencies, to re-think press releases and marketing communiqués. Including more honesty, feeling, and shared values could go a long, long way toward creating an engaging and effective communication stream.