Tuesday, September 20, 2011

5 Reasons to Consider the One-Sentence Press Release

I stumbled upon an intriguing online news distribution tool recently called
http://muckrack.com/   It is a curated news aggregator that organizes Twitter content for journalists and other visitors. 

The site offers the ability to post a “one sentence press release” here http://muckrack.com/press_releases/submit

For PR pros working on behalf of b-to-b clients, this looks like an interesting service to try.

The site also forces one to examine the worthiness of the “One Sentence Press Release” which is more than a headline.   

Telling an entire press release story in one sentence? Really? Is such a strategy a good one to pursue?

After mulling it over, offered here are five reasons to consider the One-Sentence Press Release.

1) Forces Brevity:  A one-line release serves as a headline and body all in one. Interested readers quickly scan this content in search results, Google News, Tweet streams, Facebook, news aggregator sites like infinigraph.com, RSS feeds, etc.  The one-liner must tell a story all by itself.  Yes, provide more information in the longer, more traditional press release copy, but most folks will only make time to scan the one-liner.

2) Facilitates Sharing: A well-constructed one-line press release is effective when shared by others. When written with keywords, those within the client’s niche are better able to find and share news around social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and post about it on relevant blogs.

3) Makes it User-Centric: A well-crafted one-line press release should answer the age-old question  “what’s in it for me?”   Stressing the reader’s benefit contributes to the likelihood the one-liner will be shared among an end-user target audience.  Remember to bring the user benefit front and center.

As an example, here’s a business-to-business one-line press release that addresses the “What’s in it for me” focus:

Last Chance to Register: Learn How to Cut Employee Turnover at Free “Best-Practices in Hiring Seminar” Held at Next Week’s XXX Conference

4) Helps Engage Key Influencers: Trying to reach a certain blogger, reporter or media outlet? These key influencers search for intriguing angles on timely subjects, an interesting point of view, new information and other content of value to their audiences. A one-line release makes it easy for this key group to find relevant content.  Getting the entire story in one line takes the time and effort out of the process for key influencers. As muckrack.com notes, http://muckrack.com/  “Journalists are busy, so they appreciate brevity.”

5) Leads with the LeadMost communications pros are familiar with the well-worn adage “Don’t Bury The Lead.”   A one-line release stands on its own, stressing the main point of the story.  Readers statistically only read beyond the lead about twenty percent of the time.  It makes sense to make the effort to communicate the main point (lead) concisely. 

Intrigued?  Horrified?  Is this the “slippery slope” as all business communications boil down to 140 characters?  What do you think?  

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