Updated: Jul 29, 2021
When you have multiple people working on the same press release or article, it becomes overwhelming. It’s like being at a loud party with a lot of people talking over each other. Feedback and edits are essential. But when does it become too much?
Our founder Jonathon Narvey came up with the Super Easy Editorial Process we use with all of our PR agency clients. Use it and you’ll never get stuck in an infinite loop of edits ever again!
How did we come up with the Super-Easy Editorial-Process?
“There was a huge announcement coming from the company for a major international partnership, with millions of dollars at stake,” Jonathon explains. “I whipped up the press release and sent it to my main point of contact at the company for approval. I was expecting a few comments and suggestions since that is part of the process. But then, virtually everyone in the company had their hands on the document.”
“It quickly spun out of control. Three people downloaded the press release on their computers, made their changes, and sent it back to me. So, now I had three versions, with totally different (and conflicted) feedback.”
“Worse, one person printed the document, made some comments on ink, and scanned it! I couldn’t even read half of his instructions. In the end, I had nine versions of the same press release, and each one of them had a completely different approach. I knew I needed a way to prevent this from happening again.”
So what is the Super-Easy Editorial Process for press releases?
At Mind Meld PR, we have our method for writing the press release. It’s pretty simple. We meet with the client, make sure we have all the information we need, and we get to it!
Once we are happy with it, we make sure to check with specific stakeholders on the team, to verify specific information. Ideally, they only need to check once, because otherwise, you’re going to go on an infinite merry-go-round of edits.
It’s natural for this to happen since you’ll see something you want to change anytime you look at a piece of your own writing. That’s admirable - but at some point, the law of diminishing returns appears. Basically, you don’t want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. You’ve got to send out the press release at some point… so as soon as possible, it needs to be good enough.
The CEO/Founder/VP of Marketing checks the press release for the overall story narrative
Is this the news they wanted to share? Is it taking the appropriate spotlight on the press release? Is all the necessary information there? Are these quotes what they would actually say?
If so, great. If not, this business leader needs to set the record straight. The PR pro will then take their feedback and either use it or work with it to make sure there is accuracy and a consistent voice.
The technical expert (CTO, VP of Technology, Lead Engineer) reads the press release and inspects it for technical accuracy
If there is any technical information on the release, this expert will make sure that they are correct. For example, let’s say you are talking about the launch of a new computer. You say it has 16GB of RAM. They will make sure that the information is accurate.
But be careful when adding too many technical details. You may overload your average reporter.
The business advisor/COO reads the release and checks any claims about the product or service
We want to make them look good, but there should be nothing in here that smacks of false advertising.
If there are some untrue facts or claims, the PR pro needs to know and make sure all the information is accurate.
How to share editorial feedback for a press release without creating chaos
First of all, don’t ever rewrite directly in the document. It only makes the press release look like Frankenstein’s monster! We use Google Docs, but hey, you do you. Pretty much any document-sharing app will let you add comments and respond in a timely fashion.
Highlight the word, sentence, or paragraph that you think requires changing.
Right-click to add a comment.
Make the suggestion.
That way, everyone can see the suggestions, explain their point of view, and with complete transparency. The PR professional can learn through those suggestions, better understand you and your company, and pitch properly!
And there you go. No infinite versions of the same release. Everyone is happy.
Your release is factually correct and with no false advertising. Now, time to pitch to reporters!
Do you want the perfect press release? Want to turn that press release into actual media coverage?
We can help. Contact us to learn more about our PR packages.