Re: News Releases

Subject: Re: News Releases
From: Ad absurdum per aspera <JTCHEW -at- LBL -dot- GOV>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 1994 23:36:43 GMT

Here are some tips for successful news releases.

[-1]. Put out a news release whenever you feel as though it's
been too long since the last one, rather than when there
is something to say. Keep those waters churning.

[-2]. Ignore the journalistic convention of putting the most
important items first.

[-3]. To ensure that your information products set a state-of-
the-art leadership profile on your company's image roadmap,
stay abreast of the latest in buzzwords, bromides, and
clever statements of the conventional wisdom from Marketing
and the executive suite. As a good rule of thumb, if it
sounds grandiose but nobody can figure out what it means,
put it in. Metaphors that compare the computer industry to
war, violent sports, or the survival of animals in the wild
are always good, especially if you mix them. Reporters love it.

[-4]. Stuff gaseous quotes into the mouth of at least one
suitably well-placed executive. The diligent professional
will alpha-test these improbable statements by asking
random volunteers on their way to the jogging track
to read them aloud without stopping for breath. If more
than 1 in 3 can do so, put in some more buzzwords and

[-5]. Don't bother attaching any white papers, backgrounders, and
so forth. Technical journalists already know that stuff.

[-6]. Supply all your illustrations in color. If the magazine
only runs black and white, maybe this will get them off
the dime.

[-7]. Make sure that the further-information contact has essentially
no technical knowledge. This helps prevent inadvertently
divulging anything confidential.

[-8]. Toavoid insulting the audience, provide as little context as

[-9]. At the end, carry on at some length about how your product
is the finest of its kind, produced by the greatest company
ever to grace the industry with its presence.

[-10]. Don't make followup calls or grab a quick lunch with key
trade-press or business-page reporters. It's much too
important to be at the next staff meeting.

Seriously: I'd suggest a combination of examples that you find
and instructions from various books on writing marketing "collateral."

Good luck,

"Just another personal opinion from the People's Republic of Berkeley"
Disclaimer: Even if my employer had a position on the subject,
I probably wouldn't be the one stating it on their behalf.

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