Writing a press release is pretty simple,“ we can frequently be hearing from all sides. „Annie from the accounting department or Mr.Olive, the deputy director from the economic department, have been writing our press releases for years,“ we are offered further explanation. To our question whether they find their press releases in the newspapers, at least now and then, we invariably get the brief and unanimous answer „No!“

A press release as the basic pillar of media relations

A press release, at first sight, may seem to be an ordinary essay which can be mastered by everybody who knows how to write a little acceptably. A press release, though, has its clearly-defined specifics which should not be missing from a professionally compiled text. The correct grammar and stylistics are essential here. If you send out a line-up of grammatical mistakes and stylistic imperfections to the media, you are asking for being put on an imaginary blacklist. Plus improving your company´s image will cost you lots of time and money. 

Tens of press releases find their way to a journalist´s e-mail box every day; hence yours is just one of many. According to various statistics, you are left with as few as 5 seconds to capture imagination of the journalist with your press release. A professionally compiled press release is likely to increase your chances markedly. If you need to have a press release written, you do not have to conclude a long-term contract with a PR agency outright, for there is also a service called Press release EXPRESS which you can use when you need it. Your press release will be ready while you wait, usually within two hours from ordering.  

Creation and distribution of press releases, preparation and realization of press conferences or other package events for journalists rank among the group of tools which can be collectivelly called as media relations, or  press relations ; they form an inseparable part of packaged external communication.   

Corporate identity is more than just a uniform visual style 

A company that opts for quality external communication sometimes has to reshape itself and start from scratch. A corporate identity of quality is not only a uniform graphics style or a logo manual, but it also includes regular media relations and press relations, plus corporate communication, corporate culture and, last but not least, corporate design, though it is much too overrated at times.  

Corporate identity will enable the end-customer to pick out the company among others more easily; in addition, the customers can identify themselves with it better. People can adhere to a single brand for many years, in particular, when they are happy with products or services of a given company. After all, it does not matter how the company has won their favour; whether it is through consumer contests, bonuses for loyal customers, etc. - what does matter is the customer´s adherence to a particular product or service.   

Apart from the company´s quality services or products, the customers highly regard, among others, its inventive design and philosophy, communication and, last but not least, its corporate culture. How do the company´s employees treat you during a complaint procedure, for instance? Do they try to fool you or patiently draw up the complaint record with you and explain the complaint procedure to you? Are dealers fully informed about their products? Do they really know what they are offering to you, or do they consult an instruction manual on the side? Even this makes a part of corporate identity or, more precisely,  corporate communication and culture. A mass producer of furniture whose factory outlet clerk is unable and unwilling to help you with a chair assembly does not look credible. You had better avoid purchasing such a chair!

Long-term, regular and systematic

There are three fundamental pillars of the external communication. Each one cannot do without the others. Long-term created and competently cultivated media relations and press relations are the basic conditions for success. Regular communication makes firms´relations with the media easier while markedly simplifying situations that demand media coverage. Communication as part of the PR is supposed to be regular and systematic. Haphazard sending of press releases or announcements into the ether does not pay off. Each external communication should have a firmly established concept.   

The entire system circle of the external communication is completed with performing a regular assessment of effectivity and efficiency of communication. The assessed components being as follows:

  • meeting the targets of the communication concept
  • the ratings of radio, TV and newspapers
  • relation to the company´s turn-over 
  • readers´ reactions and other 

Void of a proper assessment, there is no telling whether any investment into the external communication has been made sensibly. Thus, a circle of improvement would be left incomplete. PDCA.

Within the scope of the external communication, the company should be able to take advantage of all information channels up for grabs today. In doing so, it empowers the customer to choose such a communication tool that suits them best and is ideal for their company. 

Further tools of external communication:

  • Internet presentation,
  • Internet discussions related to the company´s products and services (their discreet coordination and purposeful cultivation),
  • customer center,
  • promotion leaflets, information brochures or newsletters, 
  • packaged events (presentations, conferences, workshops, open-door days, social meetings and appearances, prestigious events ...)
  • and, last but not least, for instance, a carefully-chosen sponsorship.

Debate questions

  1.  What is your view on the external communication? 
  2.  What means of the external communication do you use in your company most frequently? 
  3.  What means of the external communication do you consider to be the most effective and why would you recommend them to others?
  4.  What still deserves your attention and needs to be perfected?

Prize for the best entry 

At the close of the debate, an OwnWay consultant and a PR1 communication specialist have selected the best entries. 

The winner chosen by the consultant will get:

  • external harddisk 250 GB, USB - the prize goes to Blanka Urbánková

The winner chosen by the communication specialist will get: 

  • a place in the PUBLIC RELATIONS SCHOOL course organized by PR1.cz. in October

Debate entry by - Jana Kožená and, a communication specialist from PR1, Jiří Střelec, a consultant