Editing a press release can be a beast of a process, but it shouldn't have to be. Let us present a cautionary tale, based on a true story.
A PR Associate on our team once worked with a well-financed public company, prior to working with Mind Meld PR. It was a big tech company, flush with cash and ready to announce a whole series of big partnerships and one-of-a-kind product launches. They needed help writing a bunch of press releases. It seemed like a great opportunity.
“This is great,” he thought. “Surely, this large, well-organized corporation is going to be a dream to work with. A well-oiled public machine. I’ll write a draft, get some quick feedback and the leadership team here will be able to green light this press release easy-peasy."
Not so much.
At least eight people on the team edited the press release. The CEO made comments, including some questionable statements relating to technical specs that seemed to be the domain of the CTO. The CFO made comments, along with some requests for changes that would have added obvious spelling mistakes and grammar no-no's. The accountant contradicted the CFO… but who won that argument? It wasn’t clear from the thread. Three people printed out the release and edited it with a pen, crossing out stuff and circling other stuff in red ink, then scanned the document. Was version 11 actually newer than version 7? What about this other version that magically appeared in his inbox, where the CEO had inserted even more last-minute bombastic talking points. Or… were they new? It was past midnight and the number of iterations had spiralled out of control.
In the morning, the PR Associate tried to corral all the comments into a final, hybridized version that took account of everyone’s must-have inclusions. But nope. In the end, the CEO let loose on his team with fire and brimstone. My colleague was summarily let go.
Hence, the Super Easy Press Release Editorial Process was born.
So, what is the Super Easy Press Release Editorial Process?
The Super Easy Press Release Editorial Process boils down to one thing: keeping it simple!
First, gather all the information you need before you write it. That means getting the client to answer the five W’s and ‘how’ of the news release.
Once you have all that information, write the press release.
Now, here comes the ‘editorial’ part of the process. When the clients have the copy, make sure they follow your instructions. Otherwise, the 'easy' part of this press release editing process -- is moot.
Tag only the relevant members of the team. Ideally, this is limited to one or two people. Avoid the ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ scenario. It leads to chaos and undercooked (or overcooked) results.
Remind them that they should make comments only. Not tracked changes. And most definitely NOT rewriting. Ask clients to simply highlight the text and ‘add comment’.
Once the press release is back in your hands, make edits, and re-tag the same person (or people) to look it over one final time. Make a note that you want to schedule the release ASAP. That way, clients are less inclined to make any more changes.
Voila! Super Easy Editorial Press Release Process gets it done
The main point is to keep it simple. Gather info. Write it. Send it to the client for comments. Edit the release based on comments. Have the client give it just one more read-through, and the press release is ready for pitching.
Does your business have press-release worthy news to share? If so, contact Mind Meld PR to get your release in front of the right reporters. Don’t worry, we’ll make it a simple process.