Stop writing press releases to make your boss happy

If executives in your organization insist on pumping out press releases to fill a quota, they’re doing more harm than good.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to please your boss.

Doing so will often lead to raises and promotions. Plus, you just get a deep down good feeling when you’re praised for a job well done. In fact, one study cites that 78 percent of workers say being recognized motivates them to do a better job.

However, such people-pleasing behavior can become a problem when you lose sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing. That’s especially true when it comes to press releases.

What are press releases for?

The reason organizations issue press releases is to get media coverage. They want that spot on the local news, that article in the city paper, or that post on the top trending blog. Hell, even just a tweet from someone with the right followers.

When PR pros are trying to please bosses, it’s easy to lose sight or that purpose.

Don’t just go for a pat on the back

You aren’t writing a press release to make a quota. You’re writing to share a story reporters and their readers will care about. However, in attempts to please the boss, often press releases get written exactly for the purpose of filling a quota.

Does it matter that you meet quotas at work? Sure. Does it matter if your boss likes your press release? Sure. Does it matter that you’re doing a good job? Of course it does. But if you’re delivering a release just to deliver, and you aren’t thinking of what a reporter or blogger might get from the release, you are ultimately doing more harm than good. The press release will not be relevant, and it will not get call backs.

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Remember, a press release should never be overly self-promotional. Yes, it’s getting your news out there, but it’s not screaming “look how awesome we are!” A good press release sticks to the facts. Let the reporter build it up and add opinion. Your opinions shouldn’t be in there at all, save maybe for a quote or two from someone important to your story.

What if that’s what your boss wants?

Then you’re in a bit of a dilemma, aren’t you? If your boss is hung up on producing endless press releases that scream, “Look at me! Look at me!” you aren’t left with much choice. You have to deliver. If that’s the case, then you just have to do your best to get creative and uncover real news on which to base your press releases.

Can’t do it? Maybe it’s time you stood up to your superior and let them know. Let them know that writing releases just for the sake of doing so is a waste of time. Not only that, it can prove counterproductive, as people will begin to ignore the good ones along with the bad ones. And Google isn’t going to take too kindly to them either.

Are you writing to make your boss happy? Share your story!

Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of eReleases and blogs at PR Fuel, where a version of this article originally appeared. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics, a must-read for the up-and-coming PR professional. Follow eReleases on Google+, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

This article first appeared on Ragan.com in Sept. 2014.

Topics: PR

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