Are You Bored By Your Own Press Releases?

Oct 12, 2017 Keith Giannini

Throughout the month of October, members of InkHouse’s B2B technology practice are taking control of the Inklings blog. Keith Giannini continues the series today.

Technology Company Sells Technology to Other Technology Company

While somewhat apocryphal, technology companies have issued press releases that could essentially be summarized by this most generic of headlines. The next time you suggest a press release topic to your agency, think about this—does anyone care? Do you care, or are you doing this because it’s always been done this way? The main takeaway from today’s piece: 

if the press releases bores you, the technology marketer, it isn’t going to excite anyone else.

Admittedly, the press release has gotten a bad rap lately, even on this blog. And while some of the backlash is deserved, it’s unfair to blame the entire medium. Since it’s a tool, the fault lies in the hands of those wielding it (similar to how the fault in my golf game lies with me, not my clubs).

There are times when a release is valuable for technology companies. We’ve developed this checklist to help you consider what’s “release worthy” and to eliminate headlines like the one above. (Please note this checklist is optimized for private companies; public companies have to play by the rules of Reg FD along with other disclosure and compliance regulations).  

CHECKLIST:

  • People outside of my company will actually care about this “news”If your press release only matters to your internal developers or executives, then look for alternative methods (blogs, social, internal comms, newsletters, etc.) to share the story.
  • There is something truly unique about my announcementA product upgrade with 17 indecipherable new features or a partnership with another vendor who “partners around” likely won't be considered newsworthy.
  • This press release fits into the broader news streamIf it can be tied into a broader trend (your own data on the impact of a cybersecurity breach, or a customer supporting a unique use of artificial intelligence), you probably have a press release.     
  • I know exactly why the media will care about this newsThis one is subjective, but if you can’t put your finger on the core message that will excite the media, then start drafting a blog post. Immediately.  
  • This news includes a first, best or onlyThis journalists’ trope holds true, and a bunch of technology qualifiers doesn’t count. Maybe you have the fastest in-app database, but what does it enable customers to do?

If you were able to check any of the boxes above, odds are you a have an event worthy of a press release. A few words of advice: STICK TO THE FACTS, and concentrate on emotional drivers and benefits, not speeds and feeds.

The media wants facts that they can easily turn into on-point, consumable stories for their readers. Take a look at your press release pipeline, apply the checklist aboveand cut the less important pieces from your announcement schedule. 

Topics: Press Releases, Enterprise Tech, Journalism, PR, B2B

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