How to make your press releases more ‘Enchanting’!
October 19, 2011
Guy Kawasaki is an interesting writer and speaker. He is well known for being an Apple evangelist, working for the company twice and is an accomplished author and speaker on Technology and business development. His latest book is called ‘Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions’ and is all about why being likeable, trustworthy and honesty are critical components for any business or entrepreneur.
So far so obvious but why is this important for the PR professional, marketer or press release writer?
Most simply, tour writing is an extension of you. No matter how technically proficient or gifted you may be with words or messages, if you lack sincerity or commitment to your message then this will show through like a torch shone through an old bed sheet. Your choice of words, your messaging, the overall tone, style and delivery – if you approach any press release assignment with less than total commitment or belief – if you aren’t ‘enchanted’ with the product, service or message you are conveying then you are doing your client or company a disservice by putting finger to keyboard.
Kawasaki outlines what he calls his three pillars of Enchantment; namely 1) Be Likeable; 2) Be Trustworthy and 3) Have a Great Cause.
Apart from being common sense, all these pillars are dependable on each other. If you are not likeable, you will not be viewed as trustworthy; if you are not seen to be trustworthy then you’re cause will be considerably weakened; if you’re cause has no traction then it won’t matter how likeable or trustworthy you are.
These pillars also form the foundation of any good press release. If the reader likes and trusts what they are reading then they will be more likely to buy into your message. How do you build your foundations though? By doing your very best on every release you write, by giving each paragraph and sentence your best efforts, checking thoroughly for grammar and spelling errors, polishing a release until it shines and your effort is reflected through the writing. Energy is always present and tangible, even in releases that may not be the most exciting in the world. Your passion and effort will make the difference and will stand a better chance of ‘Enchanting’ the reader.
The book also touches on other strategies that a writer can adapt to improve their and their releases likeability. The ‘Premortem’ is one such example.
Kawasaki talks about the Premortem as a project meeting where the team talks about the project as if it had already failed – they will then go through it to find weak spots and then go about correcting them before the project goes live. It is even easier for a press release writer to do this than a project team. Look at your release and imagine that it has not achieved any traction or readership. Why would this be? What would you change about it to fix this? Once this idea is in your head, it will be easy for you to pre-empt these problems.
Kawasaki insists on the need for total transparency in projects and this applies to press release writers too. Tell your clients exactly what you can and will do before delivering the release or project then go ahead and do just that. Deliver what you say you will deliver; if you deliver more, great; but at the very least you will be keeping your word and enhancing your trustworthiness.
The book is available from Guy Kawasaki’s own website – http://www.guykawasaki.com/enchantment/ – and would be well worth a closer look for any writer.