Whether it involves Legal or a third party, the process can swallow up your press release and your time
Sometimes it’s better not to write a press release at all, just to avoid the horrid approval process. It might be better just to pick up the phone and call each journalist individually with your news.
Once any legal department gets involved, you might as well go on vacation and be well rested just in time for the document’s signoff.
Last year I was working on a project, and a press release draft about the results of a joint venture was sent my way; it needed to be updated. Apparently, it had been originally written three months earlier and, for one reason or another, had fallen into suspended animation, only to be revived.
Over a period of seven days, I edited and rewrote the release a few times to bring it up to date with current data and results, carefully positioning it with my client and the client’s partner so that we hit on all the right points. My client said, and I do recall this because I have the e-mail, “We should send this out next Thursday.”
That “next Thursday” never arrived. You see, the partner cited examples from third-party companies in the release, and they needed their signoffs on their mere mentions. Suddenly, progress on the release went dead silent.