Distributing Your Press Release is One Thing. Engaging Your Audience is Something Else. Are You Doing What is Required to Engage Your Audience?

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December 12, 2014

People love to read. People love to look at the news for various reasons. However, the biggest reason people tune in to news or a good press story is because they become emotionally involved with it.

There is a certain psyche that many people love to root for the underdog. This is where the reader may become emotionally involved. Here is a perfect example: In the first story, a veteran talks about suing a large corporation over not being allowed into a coffee shop with his service dog. In the second story, company ABC announces a new widget. Which story do you think will garner more attention or social shares?

The first story tugs on the emotional strings at the heart. The second story, about ABC Company, is simply a brand attribute or message point about a company. It's a story that may receive some views or attention, however nothing compared to a story that engages your audience emotionally. Before you distribute your press release, ask yourself, "Is this something my target audience can become attached to, or is it simply a broadcast press release that rambles on?"

This does not mean to say that you cannot still make an announcement about a new product or service. It simply means you must become creative on how you intertwine the emotional factor. Try to tie together the tangible aspects of the product with an intangible, emotional or psychological benefit. For example, razor companies have learned that pastel colors are a strong way for women to identify with and purchase a women's razor, even though a women's razor isn't functionally very different from a men's razor. That's why razor companies produce pastel colored razors and use pastel colors in their packaging. They add the intangible, emotional feeling of femininity to their product. In their product announcement, they will not only talk about the physical attributes of the razor but they also will emphasize the intangible benefits of the razor, such as it is designed specifically for women and that it helps a woman feel more feminine and attractive.

People will not always remember what you have said, however they will always remember how you made them feel. In general, people also can relate to other people better than they can relate to abstract ideas, concepts or matter-of-fact product features. We are now living in a social world where great things are shared. This is illustrated by the West Jet Christmas ads that have run during the past Christmas seasons, where they discuss what they do for society. Does this not give you a warm, fuzzy feeling and want to share their ad and tell people how wonderful you think it is? This is the same with a great news story. It tugs at the heart strings and so you become engaged in the story.

You may distribute your press release to thousands of distribution points, however unless you engage your audience from the beginning on an emotional level, you will not generate the audience that an emotionally involved story is capable of producing.