I’ve worked in marketing for 16 years now, I’ve learnt lots, forgotten plenty and written many plans, strategies and press releases. I enjoy writing, it’s something I often do to relax (when I get time) so I’m pretty lucky that my job involves so much writing.
I’m also interested in constantly learning, my career path went pretty speedily to a senior role but that doesn’t mean I knew everything or know it all now and that is why I want to keep challenging myself as it would be easy to get stale, especially when working on so many marketing and PR activities each year.
So as part of our Buzz Development, we went on a CIPR Press Release Training Course in London yesterday.
I’m a qualified marketer with a 2:1 degree in Marketing and many specific marketing courses, diplomas and certificates under my belt. I had media training a few times as a Director at FirstBus to ensure I was prepared for times when we needed to speak to the journalists. I’ve done Six Sigma training, and I even know how write a maintenance pack for an A320 aircraft too…
But though I’ve written 100’s of releases and worked with dozens of PR agencies I’ve never had any actual education in Press Release Writing.
I did start off thinking ‘I know all this’, what am I doing here when I have so much work to do for clients? Then it got interesting…I realised my releases had lost their mojo. They were ‘correct’ but they were not challenging. I hadn’t challenged the clients and hadn’t challenged myself and I was missing a few strategic tricks of the trade that would get journalists interested.
I’ve come away with a new way of thinking when writing a release:
- Don’t write the headline first.
- Do your research. There will be a hook-you just have to find it, ask the right questions, look in the right place.
- Quotes should add something new and not be self congratulatory.
- Don’t use jargon or unnecessary words. Plain English rules.
There’s much more we all learnt and I think this will not only help with our press releases but everything else too!
The Hive is all ready for more Continuing Professional Development. For us and for you.
Thank you to Maud Davis, our Trainer.