Stephen Sondheim has written music and lyrics for some of the most enduring musicals of the last half century. I have no idea if he has ever written a press release, yet the lines he wrote could have emerged in whole from the textbook for PR 101:
In his recent book “Finishing the Hat,” Sondheim details his creative process and lets readers peek in on his world of countless revisions, maniacal collaborators and the sheer force of will needed to make great art (and great PR). In the end, his insights serve as critical checks for those of us striving to be better writers, creators and course-changers. He understands that success demands thinking in both the largest and smallest terms with equal attention to detail.
1. Content dictates form: A lyric (like a media pitch) must have a purpose, whether it’s advancing the story, giving the audience insight into a character or creating a moment of pure emotion. In media relations, we often get so hung up on press releases and media alerts that we forget to ask ourselves the basic question: Is this the right format for my content?