If you're running a startup and wondering how those PR people do their magic, read on. (If you work for these firms, click away now.)
I checked in with my colleagues over at Blithering Media (my sub rosa PR firm). They shared their best/worst practices with me. Here goes:
So, suppose you've got a new a new tech client and it finally got its first customer after eight years in business. How do you spin that?
Let's see, we'd probably issue a press release that starts like this:
NewCo experiences record infinite sales growth
NewCo, the internet's fastest-growing provider of ISP Velocity Impenders, has surpassed an amazing industry milestone with infinite sales growth. NewCo's CEO, Hardly Home III, says that "Coming off last year's wildly successful year, we've now vastly exceeded all prior years' sales combined."
Quarter over quarter, year over year, and other metrics were simply blown away. And NewCo did all of this growth without adding any additional headcount.
But it didn't have any sales in those prior years!
Precisely! Brian, those years weren't zero sales years, they were instead:
For eight years, NewCo has been developing a revolutionary new solution to take the ISP Velocity Impender market by storm. NewCo has been singularly focused on developing the most technically brilliant solutions the market has ever seen.
So, you're saying they weren't bad salespeople, but rather brilliant product engineers?
Now you're getting it. We'll make you into a PR machine yet.
Don't we need to say something about the cloud, mobile, or social? Isn't there a law about this for press releases?
You're right. When the Client Server Buzzword Mandate of 1993 was replaced in 2011 with the Cloud/Mobile/Social Dictate, we have to get at least one of these in every press release.
Well, this firm has nothing going on in any of these areas. What do we do?
Try this copy out:
NewCo is currently investigating how its newest solutions will integrate with the latest social, mobile, and cloud technologies available. "We're taking our time to ensure customers will not get caught on the wrong side of future standards in these early technologies," says NewCo CTO B Hine Times.
OK, so how do you handle the fact that these folks are all in a small town in Nebraska and have never even been to Silicon Valley?
Hmmm, well, we'd probably say this:
The global reach of NewCo is simply staggering.
How? How can you say that?
Oh, that's easy. I bet someone on that team lives on this planet. Don't they? So, if they exist somewhere on the globe, then they're global. Plus, I bet at least one of them has been on vacation – probably to Iowa. That's global, too, isn't it?
So, how do you handle the press release without a customer reference?
Oh, that's easy. We'll get some no-name industry analyst to give us a quote. We'll even write the copy for them. It'll probably be something like:
"NewCo's announcement is staggering and will send shockwaves through the industry," says Ponce Tificate of Buzzword Research Analysts. "We're starting coverage on NewCo immediately (if its check to us clears)."
And, of course, you'll pepper the press release with a lot of three-letter acronyms (TLAs), too?
You bet we will!
NewCo delivers industry-leading, dynamic WXYZ and QWERTY tensioning to the already competitive Velocity Impender market. But, with its new features for Matter Inversion (MI), Choke Resonance (CR), and more, the company is poised for even more explosive growth.
But how can it have "even more explosive growth" when this announcement is about it achieving "infinite growth"?
Brian, you're not supposed to take these paragraphs literally. We're trying to get the reader into a whole growth gestalt with our copy.
That's a PR term — you don't need to worry about it.
OK, what else would you recommend NewCo put in its press release?
Well, we'd want to add something about potential partners or venture capitalists.
But it haven't got either of these. In fact, it has been rebuffed by everyone.
No problem. For example, we'd probably add this:
NewCo has already attracted the attention of numerous venture capitalists and potential alliance partners. "We're currently evaluating whether any of the current suitors are worthy of the NewCo banner," adds NewCo CEO Hardly Home III.
Is there anything else you'd recommend our readers cram into their tech press releases? Have we missed anything?
Absolutely. Your readers need to find a way to fit as many of these things into any press release if you want to get a high Google search optimization result. To make it easier for your readers, they can just paste this paragraph into their release.
About NewCo: NewCo helps Fortune 500, SMB, B2B, and B2C firms shift paradigms and morph their 24/7 initiatives into strong, industry leading, and transformative bricks-and-clicks outcomes. This comes while customers transition best-of-breed infomediaries into world-class schemas. Granular, next-generation solutions are simply future proofed into a knowledge economy context that approaches multiple singularities. The result is ground-breaking, aspirational, revolutionary, and pivotal to propelling outsized corporate growth and employee engagement.
Do you go to church?