Constructing a decent press release is hard enough. First you actually have to write something compelling, and then the Approval Olympics begin. You have to deal with internal egos -- somebody wants to re-write their quote. And you have to deal with legal. And you probably have other layers of approvals, often by people with little understanding of good PR or the concept of an actual news hook.
If you're writing a release about a new partnership initiative or alliance, you get to do all those things twice. And you get the added bonus of unfamiliar terrain -- what are the sacred cows of your partner? How does the partner organization's management like to be positioned to the media? What sets off the legal alarm bells for your partner?
So good luck with all of that. Fortunately there are some simple rules that can help you navigate the land mines and construct a compelling release.
Say glowing things about the other company
When quoting executives in press releases, the quotes are self-serving to the company 99.999 percent of the time. Change things up. Use the opportunity to create a little social proof: each side's quote should say something positive about the other company.
Customer value, customer value, customer value
Why is the partnership good for each company's customers? That has to be the focus of the release -- it is all that matters. And if you can't articulate that clearly and succinctly, why did you do the deal?
Check ALL the approval boxes and have a paper trail
Make sure all the laywers and PR people and executives from both sides have signed off on the release -- and have proof of all approvals. It's hard enough to put deals together; don't let yours get torpedoed by missing an approval on either side. Work together on this. Know in advance who must approve the release from both sides, check all the boxes and have proof.
Explain how 1 + 1 equals more than two
Again, from the customer perspective, explain how your companies create extra value by working together. What are you bringing to the marketplace together that each could not do on their own?
Have a clear customer call-to-action
A call-to-action in a press release? Absolutely. Be clear and specific about how customers can take advantage of the value created by your new partnership.
Press releases can be another valuable tool in getting a new partnership started off right. Be organized, be conscientious, and remember who you're ultimately writing for -- customers -- and you'll be on your way.