Why media releases go beyond writing
Don’t read this, I repeat do not read this sentence, difficult right? Sadly that’s the reality that more than 775 million people across the planet have to live with. The reason for this is simple they can’t read, meaning that to them numbers and letters are no different to alien hieroglyphs. The truth is even people who can read find it difficult to read or watch very long press releases.
If you check your dictionary you will find that a media/press release is a written or video release that is directed at the media with the aim of announcing something newsworthy.
The biggest issue here is most people and companies assume that media releases should only be written, this is bad because if your target audience can’t read what you are putting out, communication is disrupted.
What I am trying to tell you here is before you put out a media release it is of utmost importance to first think about the audience, what you must do is figure out the best way to reach them. If there is anger on the streets don’t put out long unnecessary statements that people won’t read, instead release something that people will understand easily.
When you are plagued with bad public perception it is very important to find ways to reach your public in a timely and substantive way, take the recent Charlotte shootings for instance. After the incident which saw Keith Scott getting fatally shot, the department put out a video release. You may be think that that video release had an impact on the audience and you are correct to think that but problem is the video brought more questions and anger on the streets. So what did they do wrong?
According to the police Scott threatened them with a gun-however, if you watch the video you will be left with the conclusion that there was no visual evidence that the victim had a gun in his hand. The police chief went further ahead and said that the video was part of the evidence that proves that the victim was guilty.
What can you learn from this? The lesson here is very simple; if you decide to put out a video release make sure that what’s on the video clearly shows what you are trying to communicate. If the video does not reflect reality you will lose your credibility and your audience will no longer trust you, this is bad because if you are in business you will lose customers and hence profits.
Check Donald Trump for instance, recently a video came out that showed him talking bad about women. In normal trump fashion he released a half baked apology that led to what many people are seeing as a handed victory to his rival Hillary Clinton.
This brings in the issue of sincerity, if you have to apologize for something through a video release you should do it in way that shows that you are sorry for your actions in a sincere way i.e. don’t read from a teleprompter with your poker face on. make it seem like “it’s coming from your heart”.
You can refer to Samsung and the exploding note 7s, what they got right is they offered to fix the problem instead of going around the problem making unnecessary excuses.