There is a reason no one can pass up a good story. Brain scans are revealing that stories stimulate the brain and even change how we act. The classic language regions of the brain have long been understood, but it is only recently that scientists have come to realize that narratives activate many other parts of the brain. Words like cinnamon and lavender elicit a response not only from the language processing part of the brain, but also those devoted to smell. Researchers have also discovered that words describing motion stimulate regions different from the language processing areas.
The digital age has certainly made it easier to correct typos. Every time I’ve written something that was going to be printed I’ve held my breath.
Just last week I was assembling some press kits for a client to take to a trade show. All of the materials had been printed. The USB drives were being loaded. The call comes, “Mary, I’ve noticed a few typos.” Mind you, those materials had been reviewed by the client numerous times and had been proofread on my end. It turns out the name of the road his business is on was incorrect. I was off the hook because it was wrong on the show website which is where I got it. But nevertheless…it’s that sick-to-your-stomach thing.
According to the Public Relations Museum, the press release was born following a train wreck on October 28, 1906, in Atlantic City, N.J., that left more than 50 people dead.
The train was owned by Pennsylvania Railroad, one of Ivy Lee's clients. Instead of hiding the facts from the public--as was common those days—Lee invited the press to cover the accident first hand. And in order to assure the press had accurate information, he wrote a statement about the event. This first press release, written by Lee was published exactly as Lee had written it by the The New York Times.
Although it's rare for media outlets to use press releases verbatim now, they still area catalyst for a journalist to create a story.
There’s nothing more daunting that sitting down to that big empty white space on your screen knowing you have to write a news release (or just about anything else). The trick is to just start. And, believe me, as someone who hates writing (every word is like a drop of blood…don’t even try to understand why I do it for a living), but I love having written!
The 10 tips below should help you break the cycle and get some words on that virtual paper.
As a public relations expert and marketer I subscribe to many newsletters, blogs and publications. All of these come with invitations to webinars. What I love is that there is so much valuable available for free. What I hate is the beginning and the end. The beginning so often is the “here’s why I’m important and you should listen to me.” The end is the pitch to buy something. Somewhere in the middle are some good take-aways. Most of the time an hour session could have been