On Ragan.com Michael Sebastian wrote, “Know your audience. That’s a good tip for pitching any journalist, blogger, or consumer. It’s clear PitchPoint Public Relations understands this.” Lila Shapiro of The Huffington Post commented that “In an innovative approach to what can be deadly dull, Delaplane has written a press release that exists exclusively to call attention to its own greatness.”
Now that I’ve contributed to boosting their SEO, I have to ask…really? As a communications professional, I certainly appreciate the tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating humor. But in terms of being awesome for knowing one’s audience, I just don’t see it. Ragan.com’s Sebastian says, “If you work in the business press and cover PR and marketing–like me–this press release will catch your eye. If you’re a company looking for a stunning example of a press release, and you enter ‘amazing press release’ into Google, guess what, Delaplane’s prose appears on the first page.”
I have to assume that PitchPoint Public Relations sent out this press release to generate business. Impressing fellow marketing and public relations colleagues is nice, but it doesn’t pay the bills, unless you’re looking for a job. While Delaplane may have boosted his standing on the search engines, will that translate into sales? Call me a cynic, but I doubt it.
The whole thing reminds me of the Old Spice Man commercials. I thought they were brilliantly funny and the accompanying YouTube and Twitter responses rolled a social media competent into the campaign certainly created buzz. But it didn’t make me run out and buy Old Spice.
While I can appreciate the creativity of the press release, as a peer halfway across the country, I don’t see myself helping PitchPoint Public Relations’ bottom line any time soon. The release does however poke fun at some of the worst “what not to do” press release faux pas that will land you on the Bad Pitch Blog. From that point of view, there are some gems that communications professionals can glean from it, mostly that press releases should have a true purpose and a message. Sadly all to often they have neither.
What Makes Your Press Release Stand Out?
“While hundreds of press releases are distributed daily, Delaplane feels this particular release will go down in history as the most amazing press release that has ever been written.” Hundreds of press releases are distributed daily, so what makes yours so special?
Press releases shouldn’t be sent out unless you really have something to say that is important, and therefore they should be used sparingly. When deciding to send out a press release, ask yourself who is going to care about this other than yourself?
Does your release actually say something?
“I’m quoting myself again because the first quote didn’t do it justice.” Way too many press releases are written with canned language like “Company XYX, a leading provider of innovative solutions in [insert sector here]…” or merely as a way to spew out key phrases for SEO meta tags. They turn out to be hundreds of words long but don’t actually say anything.
Once you’ve decided to send out a press release and have determined that people outside of your inner circle are going to care about its content, make sure the content actually says something. Presidents and CEOs like to be quoted and SEO is important, but do it in such a way that it delivers your message while being relevant to your audience.