Press release on fire.

Don’t write a press release like this

Here’s a timely reminder of why clear and concise communication matters: Silicon Valley Bank’s disastrous press release.

This press release, which you can see through the link above, is impenetrable to the layman. It’s a rambling cacophony of jargon. By the time you arrive at the first full stop around the 70-word mark, you’ll be exhausted.

Not only is this a lesson in how not to write a press release it’s also a prime example of why a company’s crisis comms must always be on point. Rather than extinguish the fires of doubts and fear to prevent disaster, the press release poured petrol on the situation by being unclear and essentially shouting the bit it was supposed to whisper – “We’ve lost $1.8bn”.

IrvineMedia has received thousands of press releases throughout their careers in journalism, and we now draft effective ones for clients. So here are three quick tips for making sure yours hit the mark:

🍰 Summarise the release
A tl;dr (too long, didn’t read) summary allows the receiver to digest the essence of press releases in a bite-sized fashion.

🎯 Get to the point
What’s the news? Angle? Or simply put, the one thing, if nothing else, you want people to know about? Get all this information up top.

📧 Don’t forget the Call To Action.
Tell the reader what happens next and how they can find additional info. We’re always surprised when we receive press releases without contact info or what happens next. Do it like this…

“For more information on how IrvineMedia can create more impact for your press releases and communication material, fill out the form below.” See, it’s simple.

This article was originally published in March 2023. The information has been edited slightly here to apply more context to the Silicon Valley Bank situation.

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