Just Do XX
More often than one might expect, I get asked if I can “just write a press release” as if this were the silver bullet solution to generating widespread fame and fortune for the topic/product/brand/service at hand. Often this ask comes as a favor from non-profits seeking some quick marketing help, but even for-profit clients have been known to give this direction (or order, as the case may be, which is always a treat 😉). When I’m asked this question, 99% of the time my answer is ‘no.’ Asking a marketer to “just write a press release” is akin to asking an architect to “just draw an addition to my house,” and the reason I so often refuse (and do my best to convince clients they are not being strategic and to step back for a moment) is because “just writing a press release” is generally as effective as doing nothing at all. Let me explain…
When marketing works, it’s because a tremendous amount of foundational research and strategy has occurred before any tactical elements (such as writing a press release) have even begun. Whether we’re talking about PR, digital marketing, social content creation, influencer relations, traditional advertising or beyond, the same rule applies. If you hire an agency to handle your social channels and on day 1 they just start posting, be concerned; a good social content strategy is about far more than pretty images or witty captions. It’s about targeting. It’s about creating value. It’s about embodying a brand voice. And when we’re talking about traditional PR, clients ask for a “press release” assuming that it’s the easiest and fastest way to create awareness that will ultimately drive action to purchase something, attend something, support something, etc. But what they don’t tend to realize is that just because you have a piece of paper in hand doesn’t mean it will actually “do” something – or anything! The only way to ensure it achieves the overarching objective of driving intent and action is to create a broader, layered strategy that doesn’t happen when you “just write a press release.”
At marlo we’re known for being efficient and effective. We don’t like to waste time, energy or resources – those of our own, or our clients’. And we’ll never do something “just because.” So to anyone I’ve ever said no to in the past or will in the future, now you know why. And for everyone else who asks their agency to “just do xx”; now you know why that approach may not be allowing your business the marketing success it deserves!