Study Suggests Ways to Write Better Press Releases
A lot can get lost in translation. That’s especially true when you’re talking about the disparity between your company’s intended message and what ultimately reaches your customers.
This is according to a new report analyzing the differences and similarities between the messages that companies issue via press releases and corporate statements and the stories journalists ultimately deliver. The report finds a 48 percent “gap” exists between the two categories while the disparity between corporate messages and blogs was even greater (69 percent).
“As companies increasingly turn their attention to message impact to measure success, they must begin to understand how their messages are coming across in a range of mainstream and new media channels,” said Jennifer Graham Clary, chairwoman of Global Technology Practice at Burson-Marsteller, which released the analysis this month.
The findings may help companies figure out how to create press releases that are most useful for journalists.
“Organizations can then strengthen the integrity and resonance of their messages to ensure their intended message is being presented to stakeholders,” Graham Clary said.
The research suggests press release writers need to provide concrete facts, give reasons why each release is important and avoid jargon or confusing writing. They also recommend press releases should be written as though consumers and financial analysts – not just the media – will read them.
The “gap” for bloggers was higher because they tend to post opinions, according to the report. Because of this, researchers hint that public-relations departments should consider developing releases tailored to bloggers’ needs.
The study evaluated 158 corporate messages, including announcements, product launches, speeches and leadership announcements from 16 companies in the United States , Europe, Latin America and Asia.