- 1. Contain news or useful information
- 2. Be distributed in a format that makes the content easy to use
It was really bad.
I'm not sure what to call it, but it wasn't the promised "news release." Maybe it was an ad. Maybe it was a flyer. Maybe it was sales collateral. I'm not sure.
The attachment was for a well-known manufacturer of brand name home power tools, so I was extra surprised at how useless it was. (I have higher standards for companies with bigger publicity budgets.)
It was a highly designed collage of seriously-Photoshopped photos of six products. Under each photo was a description of the tool, what it does, and its price. I don't know which products are new. I don't know what makes any of these products different from or better than their competitors. And I don't know what the publicist expects me to do with the short product descriptions -- not that it matters. I don't write about that stuff.
How usable is the content? Not usable at all. I can't right click and save the product photos. I wouldn't be able to use them, either, because of the visual enhancements -- the products are artificially highlighted so they stand out against the environment they're photographed against. The text can't be copied or pasted either -- which is typical of PDFs -- but it clearly wasn't written for editorial purposes. At best, the text might get a journalist thinking about a product category round-up piece. At best. And even that forces me to think too much.
So, publicist at the bigname company, if you want me to start thinking of articles I can write around your products, send me a pitch letter with article idea suggestions. If you want to send me a news release, send me news in a text format that I can copy and paste. And if you want to send me sales collateral, as you've done here, take me off your distribution list. I don't like to waste anyone's time -- yours or mine.