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Two months ago I was invited by a large technology company to complete a short survey for the chance to win a high-capacity and somewhat expensive flash drive. So I answered the survey, realizing that I would probably be hearing from this company incessantly now that I’d confirmed who I was, where I worked, and what my email address was.

But nothing happened. And I forgot about them. Until yesterday.
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The August issue of Tactics, PRSA’s professional journal, focuses on creativity. As many PR practitioners know, it can often be a challenge to write a press release that is creative and breaks through the clutter. Furthermore, it can be a struggle to develop a release that minimizes the use of industry jargon. Research has shown (thanks to PR blogger Adam Sherk) that some of the most overused words in news releases are: leader, leading provider, best, top, unique, award-winning, premier, and exclusive. It is easy to sprinkle in a couple of these words in releases, but there is a solution to finding creativity.

In this issue of Tactics, Tom Gable,  APR, contributed the article “Escape from Jargon Land: Creative tactics for providing solutions.” This article provides three solid recommendations to help escape the norm.

1. Write the perfect headline.

2. Write the perfect testimonial.

3. Write the ultimate 60-second pitch.

To summarize Tom’s article, he makes the point that using evidence and numbers for the company mentioned in the release will build credibility. When making claims about a company, product or service, it needs to be backed up with factual evidence, not empty, vague words. I think Tom is absolutely correct. Customers and potential customers don’t care about the “leading” company’s “exclusive” or “premier” solutions. They do care, however, about how company A delivered a product/service that helped company B increase sales by X% over a given period of time.  It comes down to real results and benefits.

To be creative in press releases, I also think that it is important to remember the following:

1. Know the audience and what interests them.

2. Follow the news outlet the release is targeting, and know what has already been said.

3. Serve up more than just text by using images, videos and other social elements.

For more articles on creativity in PR, check out the digital version of Tactics.

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