Tag Archive for Press Release

How to create a newsletter that is a good read

Whether it targets customers, colleagues or other interested parties: an e-mail newsletter can be an extremely effective communication tool – provided that it is opened and read.

However, for a newsletter to be opened and read, or even – in the best case – to be looked forward to instead of just flooding the inbox, there are two important basic rules:

1) You shall not bore!

2) You shall not spam!

If put into practice, this means that a newsletter is not a waste product of old, existing texts; there needs to be an editorial staff in charge! Its contents need to be tailored to its reader’s interests and the topics covered should be both, informative and entertaining for the recipient.

Effective Newsletter

To ensure that the newsletter is a success, the first step is a precise definition of the target group.

Who do I want to reach, who should be receiving information?

Who should know what about the organization, the company?

In the second step, there are two questions to be answered – which, admittedly, is not always easy:

What are the target group’s interests?

Which content will provide additional benefit to the readers?

What will entertain or amuse the target group, which contents should be included in the editorial plan?

Lastly, use a proper style of writing and an appealing and reader friendly layout (a no-go is bright font on dark background, for example), and there is your newsletter that is a good read.

P.S: Integrated links provide additional benefits. Also, readers like to be entertained – however, please do not (!) desperately try to be funny.

Dr. Annegret Haffa

Dr. Annegret Haffa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text by Dr. Annegret Haffa. @drhaffa
http://www.haffapartner.de
Click here to access the Agency Blog

Localizing instead of Translating: How to make international press releases work

Multinational companies often face the challenge to distribute news from the headquarter based in foreign countries e.g. in the USA in other markets “with other languages as well. However, running the English piece through google translater and brush up the language a little bit, won’t do the trick. For making an adaption work properly, it needs to be way more than just a simple translation. Obviously the language is very important, but also some other aspects have to be kept in mind:

1. Topic: Before adapting the press release one question needs to be answered: Is this news really relevant for my market? Spreading news from the US headquarter does not always make sense, because not all topics are also relevant in markets like Germany, and sometimes a solution is just not available outside the US .

2. Structure: US press releases often start off very “softly” before getting to the point. These introductions “platitudes, trend-analyses or the like“ in the first paragraph(s) can be quite deterring for the German media. German journalists spend very little time on deciding whether a news piece is interesting to them or not. A press release which does not get to the point quickly won’t catch the attention of a German journalist and falls through the cracks. Therefore, in German press releases don’t waste any time and space: What’s most important, comes first!

International News

International News

3. Marketing-Talk: In a professional environment, Germans in general present theirselves more reserved than for examples US-Americans. The praising of products and services with superlatives is a taboo to German media. Every provider or manufacturer claims that his innovations are “unique” and that its success will be unprecedented. The challenge lies in stressing the actual benefits, without turning the German message into sweet talk oder adulation.

4. Quotations: US press releases often contain a lot of quotations that basically all say the same. For a successful localization, it is more useful to offer not more than one or two quotations (which cover all important messages) coming from a regional (!) speaker.

5. Customer References: The best testimonial of a satisfied customer is worthless, if the corresponding company is completely unknown in the target country. Therefore it makes sense to make use of less, but local references “ in Germany from the DACH-region or at least from internationally well-known companies.

In Germany, claiming to be “the leading provider” of anything should be proved. Because this is a rather difficult undertaking (e.g. because of lacking evidence and information) it is more secure to position oneself of being “one of the leading providers. On another note: There is no need for (registered) trademark references and legal disclaimers in Germany.

If you want to know why uniform communication does not work have a look at my colleague’s blog post covering examples of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The rules for the “DACH” region or for the US also apply to other countries. Despite the geographical proximity, press releases from France, Italy or Spain cannot simply be translated into German “at least, if you want to get positive attention from a maximum of journalists”.

Markets can be compared just as little as you can compare apples to oranges. This is why PR professionals should not try to capture the attention of the local press with news that were obviously written for another target market. Hence, for adequate localization not only perfect foreign language competence is absolutely crucial, but also detailed knowledge of the local markets and industries.

Annegret

Dr.Annegret Haffa

 

Text by Dr. Annegret Haffa. @drhaffa
http://www.haffapartner.de
Click here to access the Agency Blog

Blogs Emerging as News Release Platform

Press releases are press releases, and blog are blogs. Never the twain shall meet? That depends…

bloppic

More than half (60%) of PR executives said they have not used blog type news releases without a formal news release, according to an exclusive study conducted by marketing communications agency MWW.

Among those PR executives who are using a blog style release without the accompaniment of a formal news release, 44% of the respondents said they plan to use more blog style releases in the future while only 6% said they would use them less.

“It’s not blogs versus news releases, that’s the wrong discussion,” said Ephraim Cohen, executive VP of technology and digital content at MWW. “The discussion should be around formats, and when to use one, or the other, or both.”

The online study, which was conducted in December and January, garnered a total of 42 responses. Nearly 80% of the respondents work in communications for a company or PR agency, with 42% in a management or supervisory role.

Despite the tremendous growth in social platforms, formal press releases still hold sway with stakeholders, according to the survey.

“It’s a formal documentation of the news, whereas a blog is a place to further the dialogue to what’s in the news release, and then, if it’s appropriate, extending to other mediums such as video,” Cohen said.

He stressed that traditiional and new media outlets alike still expect a formal press release for news and information. “As expectations change our delivery of news will change, as well.” PRN

Source: MWW

Ephraim Cohen, ecohen@mww.com.