News releases: fix your broken approval process

Every member of the team plays an important role.

Every member of the team plays an important role

The worst thing about writing news releases is getting them through the approval process. As the saying goes, “Too many cooks spoil the broth,” right? After many revisions, what comes out in the end can look like something that’s been through a trash compactor.

Does it have to be so painful and unproductive to complete a news release? Can we fix this broken process?

The solution, my friends, is discipline. Or baseball, if you prefer. By that I mean each player needs to play an assigned position in accordance with his or her strengths—and no one else’s. You can’t have the shortstop sprinting to first base or the pitcher standing in center field.

Here are some guidelines to help each approver play to his or her strengths:

1. Choose one person to write the release. Everyone else should be hands-off. Hands-off people should comment and give direction but not write, re-write or edit the release.

2. Pay more attention to the pre-writing process. There should be substantive input before a first draft is written. Smart pre-writing saves time by reducing the amount of often painful and unproductive re-writing at the end of the process.

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