Extreme Makeover — News release edition
How to find the story within a stodgy bank report
It was a good story: More than 1,000 New Englanders would soon have safe, decent, affordable places to live, thanks to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Affordable Housing Program.
But PR convention demands that we reduce good stories to hierarchical blurtations of fact. And that’s what Mark Zelermyer, the bank’s vice president and director of corporate communications, did with the first draft of his news release covering the story.
But by the end of my NOT Your Father’s News Release Master Class in December in New York, Mark had totally rewritten his release, taking the story from blah to brilliant.
What can you learn from his before and after?
Why are PR pros still using a 111-year-old format?
PR professionals have been married to the traditional news release since Ivy Lee created the format more than 100 years ago. Why, then, do we need a new approach?
With 2,500 releases going out each day — that’s one every 35 seconds — the impact of your traditional news release ain’t what it used to be. In fact, more than half of all traditional press releases never get covered, according to PR Newswire.
But in NOT Your Father’s News Release — a two-day PR-writing Master Class on July 27-28 in Portland, Oregon — you’ll learn current best practices from the Public Relations Society of America’s “national writing coach.” Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Place your PR piece among the 3% to 45% (Wilcox & Nolte) that actually get used
- Tap current best practices — proven in the lab! — for organizing a contemporary, compelling PR piece
- Make your release up to 300% more readable using a cool (free!) tool to measurably improve readability
- Turn lame-ass quotes into killer sound bites
- Bring your laptop and a release to work on, write and rewrite, get and give feedback, and leave with a totally rewritten piece
This is the only Not Your Father’s News Release Master Class we’ve scheduled for this year. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn to avoid PR 101 releases in 2016. Register now.
Learn to Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more