The Demise of the Press Release Is Greatly Exaggerated

When Jim Miller, SVP/managing director of Dentsu Communications, heard a “PR expert” claim at an industry event in 2010 that the press release was dead, he thought to himself, “that’s ridiculous.” To announce the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology’s 94 regional finalists, Miller and the Dentsu team wrote and distributed 25 customized state-by-state press releases. Here are some tips from Miller on how to make press releases pop:

• One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Write tailored news releases for each target, and give media in different regions strong local angles.

• Use Quotable Quotes: Well-written press releases require good quotes that aren’t just PR speak—they need to really say something.

• Avoid Embellishment: Don’t exaggerate—present the story in the strongest way possible, “but don’t over-tell your story with hyperbole,” advises Miller.

• Make It Self-Sufficient: Miller has found that a lot of newsrooms would use verbatim excerpts or run entire press releases. “They’ll use your material if it’s well done and customized to their needs,” he says.

PR News subscribers can read more about about how Dentsu Communications media trained the nation's brightest science students in the case study: Students Get Crash Course in Media Training to Help Spread Awareness of High School Science Competition