About those confounding press releases

by Smartie on April 22, 2016

melodrama-stop-the-pressSo, you’ve got a brilliant press release written and distributed. After the heady rush of the announcement, things are starting to lag. Your ticket sales are at a slow crawl and you want to give everything a boost.

What can you do?

A bunch of things! But here’s what you don’t do: re-send the press release.

Publicists can be a tight knit group, and a few that I am close to were recently chatting about how they had fielded requests from several clients to resend their releases in the hopes of remedying a ticket sales slump. How lucky, I snickered to myself, that my fabulously clever clients know better than that!

Until I was sitting in a meeting two days later and someone from development said, “No offence but…” (You know where this is going, right?) “We experience zero bump in sales when the press release lands.”

Smiling through gritted teeth, I said, “That’s good! You’re not supposed to.”

A press release is not marketing collateral. (Now say it out loud, just to reinforce the message.)

There is a reason why a press release only goes out to the press. A press release is about announcing and, a good one has the potential to drive it. And news is not “our ticket sales are in a slump.” News is announcing a new project, a milestone, a casting notice, etc. Anything that the press may need to know when they consider covering your project. Yes, some online outlets will pick up the release and post it, but you can’t count on those outlets to re-post the release simply because your sales are slumping or you want to build “buzz.” If you didn’t capitalize on it the first time, it’s unlikely to do anything different the second time around – well, except piss off the press, who have to sift  through their overburdened in-boxes.

If you send press releases with zero newsworthiness, the press will stop paying attention to them.

A press release (like press in general) needs to be part of the overall marketing strategy. It is not a strategy on its own. So you should have a plan in place for when the release hits. What’s your social media strategy around the news announcement? How are you alerting your fans and followers to this news? And, what are you going to do to stretch the excitement over a longer term if you do not have “news” to drive it?

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