Saturday, September 12, 2015

Don't call us, we can't decode news releases

You've got to admire an online news release distribution channel called 24-7 Press Release.

They're honest about their service: they take a news release you write, and distribute it to media outlets via a newswire-style service. What they won't do is also pretty clear:

"Please do not attempt to contact 24-7 Press Release Newswire. We are unable to assist you with any information regarding this release."

In other words: "We aren't the writers or people quoted in the news release you're reading. We're not set up for media relations."

Honest? You bet. Helpful? Not so much, at least if you read releases on 24-7 Press Release -- in this case, "Fresh Design Studio is the First Millennial Agency in the Midwest"

Millennials, I guess.
The release's lead was a head-scratcher."Fresh Design Studio, LLC, a leading creative agency, announces its shift to a Millennial agency, thereby painting an indelible mark in the digital marketing landscape. The move to reposition the agency's focus was driven by the need to effectively capture the interests of the Millennial generation, which is now the main driving force in all areas of every industry."

They talk about landscapes. The digital marketing landscape. The consumer landscape. Everything except actual landscapes. 

Lots of words, but Do you know exactly what Fresh Design Studio does? They use 'millennial' with abandon, although it's easy to challenge the idea that the Millennial generation is "now the main driving force in all areas of every industry." (Plumbing or locksmithing, for example, aren't exactly catering to Millennials.)

Is Fresh Design really the first agency to say they're good at reaching Millennials? In Chicago, the ad capital of the Midwest? If they are, they should point to a winning campaign that demonstrates their expertise. But they don't. (For thoughts about Millennials, look here.)

Picking apart a release that dances around the exact services you offer is easy. Fresh Design actually talks about their services in boilerplate copy at the end of the release. But since you've got 2.7 seconds to grab an editor's attention, saving these details until the final paragraph is burying your value proposition.

Small wonder, then, that 24-7 Press Release wants little to do with such home-brewed releases.