Many companies send out the same uninspiring press release every year. Some companies must send out earnings reports or year-end summaries on a regular schedule, which makes their press releases very similar and uninteresting. Although sending out the same release each year is perfectly functional and sensible, it is not interesting.
When you send out the same old press release every year it becomes very predictable and boring to both the media and the public. Do not worry about journalist remembering your press release from last year and saying, “not this again.” Journalists see thousands of press releases a year and unless yours was extremely memorable, they most likely won’t even remember receiving it.
Nevertheless, there are a few small changes you can make to your old press release that will help update it.
1. Use Context: What is happening in current news that is related to your announcement? What is a current trend or focal point that relates to your announcement? By incorporating current news and trends into your old release you will be accentuating your press release’s newsworthy aspects.
2. Change your Lead: Although your release might contain the same or very similar information as last year’s release, that does not mean you have to use the same lead. Look at your lead from last year and try to find a new and interesting angle to accent. Even if the content is really the same as last year, using a new and interesting lead will attract more attention to your press release.
3. Alternate the Format: Is there a way you can make your hard news release appear as a feature story? Concentrate on not simply giving facts, but telling the story about your company or client.
4. Develop a Good Attitude: Enjoy what you are doing. Don’t dwell on the fact that you send out the same release every year. Journalists will look forward to your communications with them if you are not too stiff or overconfident. Remember that journalists are people too and your attitude toward writing your press release will show through it.
5. A New and Exciting Element: Try to incorporate something you have never done before into the press release. Times have changed and so has the media landscape. Including pictures and perhaps even video content can make a large difference in how your release is received.
When developing a new angle to your old press release remember that no one is more aware of your message than you are. After all, you are the one who concentrates on it everyday. Journalists and the public do not hear your message as often as you do.
The most important updates you can make to your press release are making it detailed and relevant to current news. Even if it sounds very similar to last year’s press release, providing a relevant and current angle for journalists will make their job easier and give it a better chance of being covered.