Don’t Just Make Stuff Up

One of our clients wanted to distribute a very creative but very fictional press release this week. And although I was entertained and really thought it had marketing potential, and the truth about their services was in the release, it just didn’t have real news and couldn’t be distributed as it was drafted.

There’s no need to share the who or what it was about, but I do have some recommendations for organizations that draft fictional news for marketing purposes:
  1. When distributing news to journalists and editors, make sure it’s of true news value to their publications – i.e., know the pubs you’re pitching.
  2. You should always focus on building relationships with the journalists and editors you’re targeting, becoming a reliable source for their stories and articles, not just getting their attention for attention’s sake.
  3. When distributing news online, like posting search-optimized releases via HRmarketer’s Direct2Net wire service (PR Web), you can certainly be more promotional (announcing a content download like a white paper or research report, Webinar, etc.), but it still has to contain a kernel of news in a news release format. Yes, media will see your online releases, but more importantly, your buyers will find them too.
  4. Take that highly creative but fictional release and turn it into a lead-generating direct marketing email and/or print mail campaign and then use PR to promote and reference the content while releasing vital news about your products and services.
And lastly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the following line from clients over the years:

“Hey, just make something up.”

No, don’t do it. Really.

Posted by Kevin Grossman

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