Tag: PDF


Is the press release dead?

No, but it’s certainly evolving, and if you push out releases, you need to make sure you are evolving with the medium.

Some keys:

1 – In this sector, press releases are not enticements to get editors to write stories. They are the stories. The formulaic corporate style of traditional press releases just annoy trade publication editors and bloggers. Remove most of the chest-beating hype and jargon and tell a story that interests them and their readers, and you’ll get play.

2 – Make it easy for them. Send the copy as text so they can copy and paste, and then edit. Include logos and web-ready images that help tell the story. If you have video, get it online so it can be embedded, easily, in the story. Do not send PDFs. Note: this is a visual business, but few companies use it to market their services.

3 – Be natural in your quotes and comments. We’ve all read quotes from executives in press releases that make you instantly think, “No one actually talks like that.” If you are manufacturing quotes, make them conversational and actually contributing to the story.

4 – Put things in context. Probably the biggest problem I see with press releases is the lack of context. I see countless releases hyping some new technical advance or doodad, but providing little or no clue as to why anyone should care. Think in terms of. “This new version of ___ will save time and money and …” THAT gets people interested.


DS PR 101: No PDFs please

I just got a press release as a PDF. For me, that’s OK, because while I write about the industry, I don’t spend a lot of time reporting on it and therefore extracting a lot of quotes from releases.

BUT, if I did, pulling the text out of PDF files is a pain in the butt, and depending on the way the PDF is formatted, possibly a giant pain in the butt. Couple that with images that look very nice in the PDF file, but now have to be grabbed via screen capture and then fiddled with in some image edit software.

By putting something out that looks polished and pretty, you have created a bunch of irritating extra work for editors. On a busy day, they might not bother dealing with your stuff because time is limited.

If you insist on sending a PDF, send it as an attachment and have all the text in simple, unadorned text form in the email message body, and send images and logos as attachments.

Make it easy and you will get better results.


DS PR 101: Don't invite people over, confuse them, and make them do work

A company from India recently put out some PR that made it to my Google Alert trap because of the keywords “digital signage” and because of the release premise – an embedded system for DS – I was interested.

When I first tried the Website was down. Not good, but it happens.

When I gave it a crack today the site was up, but it took me probably 40-45 seconds of poking around to find the stuff I was interested in. Mere mortals probably wouldn’t have stuck with it that long, so there’s lost opportunity Number One. If you issue a press release, it will almost certainly be seen digitally by most people, so include a link in the release that goes RIGHT to the page with your product information.

Problem Number 2. Once I found the page, all it contained was the same information as the release. Want to learn more? Download this brochure! Well, OK, but now I am a little irritated. I don’t need yet more PDFs on my hard disk.

But wait, before you do that, put in your name and email so we we can start carpet-bombing you with email spam. THEN we’ll let you look at what we’ve got.

No. No. No.

Common sense guys. Let people find out about the product first, and then if they are truly intrigued, they will reach out by email, or   maybe agree to getting on some email list. By insisting on registration first, you have to know a pile of people abandoned the page, the site, and your company. You have to provide real value to get most people to agree to register, and a product brochure probably doesn’t qualify.

The process of sending out a press release is somewhere in the middle of the marketing communications process, but too many people seem to to think it’s the last bit. It has to be thought all the way through, INCLUDING what happens when people read it and are hopefully intrigued.

Not so.