‘I’m not interested in “new and improved”’ — Editor
Which of these product release leads would you rather read? This one?
Or this one?
Me too. In the first, conventional release lead, I’m not going to make it to the second acronym. But I’ll pay attention to the company and product name in the second — a PRSA Silver Anvil Award winner — because the writer focused on reader benefits first, “us and our stuff” second.
“Present the key element … that explains how your story can benefit Forbes readers.”
— Bruce Upbin, senior editor at Forbes
So lead with the benefits and substantiate with the features. Focus on your reader’s needs first, then follow up with your organization and its products, services and ideas.
Put the benefits first.
“Editors don’t care that ‘Amalgamated Technologies Has Released the New XYZ-2000 Coated Cable Bushing,’” writes Stinson Liles, principal and co-founder at Red Deluxe, “They are much more likely to be interested in ‘Phone Companies Use New Coated Cable Bushing for Difficult Underground Connections.’”
Stephany Romanow-Garcia, senior process editor, Hydrocarbon Processing, agrees.
“There’s nothing wrong with a story about a new product,” she says. “But readers want to know, ‘How am I going to use it?’ I’m not interested in ‘new and improved.”
So sell your story by focusing on your products’ value to the journalist’s readers. Put the benefits first.
How can you write PR pieces that get covered?
Some 55% to 97% of all releases sent to media outlets are never used, according to Dennis L. Wilcox and Lawrence W. Nolte’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques.
Learn how to write PR copy that editors won’t be able to pass up at NOT Your Father’s PR Writing — our media relations-writing workshop starting July 12.
There, you’ll learn how to go beyond “new and improved” to develop story angles that readers want to read … and that journalists and bloggers want to run.
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.