India’s first corporate PR ezine                               VOL 1 Issue 8 – October 06


PR-eXCLUSIVE – Improve credibility of press releases

           Listen to the full interview through podcast at

PR –e- STIGE – Expert views

Mr T N Ashok, Copcom Consultant, Alstom Group
“Balance the expe...
journalists to pick it up in the manner      problems of queries and follow-up
his newspaper would like to present to   ...

PR –e- Survey – Survey on quality of press releases

A quick on-line survey was conducted        the listed deficiencie...

PR –e- Learn – 12 points to remember

                                              7. Use     quotes     of   compete...
PR –e- Learn – Social Media Press Release Template

Read :

PR –e- View – Expert views

Mr G Shrikanth, Technology Correspondent, Data Quest
“Avoid sen...
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Corporate Press Releases


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October 06 issue of Corporate ezine PR-e-Sense deals with corporate press releases. This issue deals with the deficiencies in the press releases. This issue is also integrated with podcast interview of eminent journalists. This ezine is published by Prime Point Foundation and edited by K. Srinivasan. Please visit and

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Corporate Press Releases

  1. 1. India’s first corporate PR ezine VOL 1 Issue 8 – October 06 Published by Prime Point Foundation (Supported by Public Relations Council of India and Chennai PR Club) PR-e-FACE: From the desk of Chief Editor “ Urgent need for sensitising the Corporates on Media “ With mushrooming of PR outfits and professionals, including the senior entry of many new level officials need to update the freshers in the PR knowledge and skills, in the fast profession, the quality of changing environment. the Corporate Press Releases are suffering Corporate top management officials heavily. A quick survey should learn to refrain from interfering conducted by PR-e-Sense in the professional standards of media revealed a lot of relations, by thrusting their views. alarming information on They should also learn not to convert the Corporate Press Releases. the Press Releases into an ‘advertisement copy’. This may be due to lack of knowledge, or lack of drive to acquire knowledge. The professional bodies like CII, FICCI, Though there, appears to be lot of and AIMA have a greater role to play. pressure from the corporate top They need to organise interaction managements to draft the press sessions for CEOs with the media releases according to their pleasure, professionals and PR professionals. PR and CorpComm professionals PRCI, PRSI and PRCAI should play a should not take shelter under that facilitating role. This would improve pretext. the credibility of the profession and also the Corporates. PR and CorpComm professionals themselves should take the initiative in sensitizing the Corporate CEOs about K. Srinivasan the media sensibilities. This could be possible, only if the professionals themselves are knowledgeable, to command respect. PR / CorpComm PR-e-CISE – Inside this ezine Report on 100th birthday of Press • • An exclusive interview with Mr K T Jagannathan, a reputed financial Release • journalist Effective Press releases - Points to • Expert views from Mr T N Ashok, remember • formerly Economic Editor of PTI Social media press release and presently a CorpComm template • consultant PR events • Podcast and many more
  2. 2. 2 PR-eXCLUSIVE – Improve credibility of press releases Listen to the full interview through podcast at Mr KT Jagannathan, one of the • Corporates do not inform the reputed and senior financial journalists media about the appointment of PR of India with more agency. Anybody can send a mail than 25 years of claiming to be a PR agency for the experience in company. Signed hard copy in the various leading letterhead will add credibility. business • PR agencies should convince the magazines of India speaks about the deficiencies in corporate press corporate clients about the various releases. In an exclusive podcast regional and national media interview with K. Srinivasan for PR-e- requirements. Sense, he emphasizes the urgent need • Because of the mushrooming PR for improving the credibility of corporate press releases. Please listen agencies and acute competition to the full podcast interview (link given amongst the agencies, false promises above). Excerpts from his interview: are given to clients. Because of this, they want to push the messages • The corporate press releases, whether they are good, bad or ugly. whether they are sent directly by the • PR agencies should be facilitators. corporates or through the PR agencies, should be printed on the letter head of They should procure the information the company and signed by an from their clients and furnish to media, authority. Presently, many press whenever needed. Now they do only releases are received by the media. ‘courier’ role. We need to identify the responsibility. • MNC press releases are well • Press Releases do not contain the packaged. If the journalists want to contact numbers of the company go beyond, it is very tough to get the officials. Even if available, company information from them. They are officials are not reachable. PR persons always closed. They are not do not have additional information. transparent to the extent what the journalists want. • Multiple press releases are sent. • PR Unwanted information reaches the persons should earn journalists. Press Releases need to be respectability from journalists, clients targeted. They should be related to and others. This can come only by the journalist and the media. Many improving knowledge. press releases are discarded, for these • Corporate reasons. CEOs should be transparent with the media. They • Press releases may be sent should not ‘beat around the bush’, through e-mail, followed by duly which may lead to misinterpretation. signed hard copy printed on the letter head. When the email is received, the Mr K T Jagannathan can be reached at journalist may work around that story.
  3. 3. 3 PR –e- STIGE – Expert views Mr T N Ashok, Copcom Consultant, Alstom Group “Balance the expectations of media and the corporates” I have dealt with in journalism for 25 years and in hundreds of corporate communications for six companies during years, I would like to point out the my tenure as issues involved in a press release and Economics and how each one looks at it : Business Editor of a leading wire Journalist’s perspective service. 1) A journalist looks at a press release As a media from the point of view advisor , I have written press releases : for corporates such a) News value as TATAs, Xerox, ALCATEL, and now b) Whether this has been highlighted ALSTOM. It can be a nerve wracking c) If its a financial statement, then are experience, asssembling it from raw all the figures there revenues, data given by business units and turnover, profits etc given? giving it a face to the press. It d) If its a product - are all the details undergoes dramatic changes in the about the product there and hierarchy of a corporate from the CEO its utility value to the consumers and to the COO to the CFO and to the its pricing, affordable or not, does it Company Secretary to the Chairman of offer value at that price to the the company. consumer, etc. Each looks at the press release from Corporate perspective his own perspective, and adds, deletes, rewrites, tones it down, tones 2) A corporate or a corporate it up as the need may be communicator (CEO, CFO COO) looks before it can go out. A press release at a press release from a different can take anything between three perspective: days to fifteen days to be finalised depending upon its sensitive a) Does the press release present the nature. No tall claims, No company in a good profile to the understatements, just factual general public? presentation is what is actually b) to the stake holders ( strength of needed. the company) c) to the government ( credibility of While it may take a press release to be the company) drafted over a week, it may take just d) to the competitors ( competitive seven seconds for a journalist to throw edge) it into the waste paper basket. A e) to the general public ( the value it corporate communicator has to offers to them) necessarily balance the interests of various sections while drafting it. Most The press release is not generally often journalists don’t understand the presented in terms of its news deeper implications of a press release value to the journalists but more in and why its worded in a particular terms of the projections it makes manner. for the company in the market. Meanwhile as a person who has been The corporate leaves it to the
  4. 4. 4 journalists to pick it up in the manner problems of queries and follow-up his newspaper would like to present to stories that could interfere in a its readers. A press release Corporates marketing strategies ( can be written from bottom to the top telecom companies and automobile rungs of the hierarchy in a companies are most affected by this corporate atleast 25 times before its faux paus in a press release) finally readied for release 3) no discrepancies in figures in terms making sure there are: of profits, turnover, sales, dividends that cannot be reconciled 1) no forward looking statements if its 4) no discrepancy in statements in a listed company to prevent press release and when a company speculation in the markets spokesperson speaks 2) no vital information that could be publicised later is not prematurely publicised creating PR –e- Learn – 100th birthday of Press Release The press release turned 100-years- PR, created the first press release. The old over the weekend. As Pennsylvania Railroad was one of his search marketers debate clients. Following the accident, Lee not over the future of the only convinced the railroad to online press release, we distribute a public statement, he also can learn some important convinced them to provide a special lessons from the early history of public train to get reporters to the scene of relations. the accident. On October 28, 1906, at least 50 The New York Times was so impressed people lost their lives when a three-car with this innovative approach to train of the Pennsylvania Railroad's corporate communications that it newly equipped electric service printed the first press release— jumped a trestle at Atlantic City, NJ, verbatim—on Oct. 30, 1906 as a and plunged into the Thoroughfare "Statement from the Road." In the creek. weeks that followed, both newspapers and public officials effusively praised That afternoon, Ivy Lee, who some Pennsylvania Railroad for its openness consider to be the father of modern and honesty. Source : PR –e VENTS – PRCI holds Health care PR Seminar at Hyderabad The seminar on 'strategic Public in the corporate sector to do their bit relations in in improving the awareness of the pharma and government policies on health and health industry' family welfare. She also informed that was organized by Indian Government had allocated Public Relations council of India, Rs.130 cr on IEC (Information, Hyderabad chapter on 28th Sep 06. education and communication) Inaugurating the Seminar, Union towards awareness on family health minister for State for health and family care programmes. (Reported by Ms welfare Smt. Panabaka Lakshmi called Rajeswari Iyer, Chairperson, PRCI, upon the Public Relations practitioners Hyderabad)
  5. 5. 5 PR –e- Survey – Survey on quality of press releases A quick on-line survey was conducted the listed deficiencies, like lack of by Prime Point Foundation, as part of newsworthiness, usage of marketing October 06 issue of and promotional information, etc. Corporate e-zine PR- • Interference from the Corporate e-Sense. Management, while drafting the press The survey was to releases seems to be eminent, as get the perspective more than 60 percent of the PR of PR/CorpComm professionals and the segment and CorpComm segment journalists on the ‘Corporate Press have uniformly felt the same. This Releases’ released to the media. may be because of the lack of understanding of the ‘media 38 PR/CorpComm professionals and 23 functioning’ by the Corporate Journalists responded to the survey Management Executives. and gave their views anonymously. • Nearly 70 percent of the Media CONCLUSIONS professionals are unable to get in touch with the concerned persons or to • Generally both PR/CorpComm get the required information. professionals and Media persons have • More than 60 percent of the Press agreed that the quality of ‘Corporate Press Releases’ need to be improved. Releases get rejected or discarded for While PR/CorpComm persons have various reasons. rated their own press releases at 51%, • More than 60 percent of the Media media persons have rated at 47%. professionals prefer to get the press • Both PR/CorpComm professionals releases through email followed by fax and media professionals agree with or hard copy. Download the full report from the following link PR – e- Groups – Have you joined PR discussion groups ? Image Management Group – Second largest yahoo group on PR with 1360 plus global members. Click here PRpoint Group - The largest Indian group for PR/CorpComm /academic professionals with 600 plus members. Click here PR –eVENTS – National Conference at Hyderabad Global Forum for Public Relations is Relations”. For more details contact organising two days National Conference at Hyderabad on 11th and or visit website 12th November 2006 with the theme “Professionalism and ethics in Public
  6. 6. 6 PR –e- Learn – 12 points to remember 7. Use quotes of competent authorities, relevant to the story. 8. Furnish contactable phone or mobile numbers of the persons, who can provide additional information. 1. Use inverted pyramid style. 9. Print the release on the letter 2. Confine the ‘lead’ to 25 words, head of the company. Duly using 5W and 1H method signed press release may be (where, when, why, who, what sent through email followed by and how) hardcopy through fax or 3. Provide proper caption, place delivery. and date 10. Provide duly translated press 4. Write in third party language release to the regional 5. Remember, your immediate language media, audience is the ‘News Editor’. 11. Simultaneously post the release He should get interested in the in the company’s website under story. ‘media room’. 6. Avoid cliché, superlatives and 12. Avoid sending bulky advertorial materials, to please attachments to journalists, the boss or client. without their consent. Respect others bandwidth. PR –e- Learn – New buzz words: SEO PR and PR 2.0 for message releases Search Engine Optimization Public careful balance between search Relations (SEO PR) is a blend of engine-friendliness and good search engine visibility and traditional copywriting. Ultimately people need to public relations that disperses a be able to easily read and understand company’s message across the the message without being bombarded Internet by way of online media by keyword spam (copy overloaded outlets and search engines. SEO PR with keywords which affects readability not only helps disseminate an and understanding). organization’s messages, but it also incorporates search engine-friendly PR 2.0: Another group of inventors communication through techniques are urging public relations agencies to such as optimizing copy in press post their news releases to social releases, articles, white papers, blogs, media websites. They're also lobbying RSS feeds, websites and more. press release distribution services to add bookmarks, Technorati A successful search engine public tags, and Digg buttons to every news relations engagement harnesses the release. power of the search engines by focusing on relevant keywords within They call their innovation "PR 2.0," "PR the content being created and Squared," and "the social media press distributed. Careful attention has to be release." paid to the content created to ensure a For more details visit: SEO PR PR 2.0
  7. 7. 7 PR –e- Learn – Social Media Press Release Template Read : Template:
  8. 8. 8 PR –e- View – Expert views Mr G Shrikanth, Technology Correspondent, Data Quest “Avoid sending huge pictures to journalists, without permission” I would like to share the issue of the company logo sending huge pictures with press alone is 3MB. releases. Some of the PR agencies Does it make any keep sending huge picture files with sense? the release. I am perplexed because it chokes up my whole email and I think agencies bandwidth is still a scarce commodity should check the in India. How ridiculous it goes, here is journalist before, an example, sometime back I received whether they need pictures and send it a press release from a PR agency, and only to those who require it and not to everyone. PR eTTY - Relax enjoy. Nothing will happen to you for next 10 years”. He did so. He met with an accident and died. In heaven, he asked Yama, “Why did you lie to me” Yama replied, “Sorry son, appraisal time…. Had to achieve target!”. A man was sleeping in his house. Suddenly Yama (God of death) (Source: unknown) appeared before him and said “Go and PResentors of PReSENSE Chief Editor and Publisher: Podcast K. Srinivasan (Prime Point) M M Selva Kumar (ePagemaker) Consulting Editor Editorial Advisors Uma G (O&M PR) M B Jayaram, (Chairman, National Editor: Council, PRCI) P A Narrendiran (Blue Lotus PR) T N Ashok (Alstom) Associate Editor: Arun Arora (GMR-DIAL) S. Sakthi Prasanna (Hanmer & Uma Bhushan (SIMSR) ) Partners PR) R. Jai Krishna (Senior Journalist) Editorial Board: Veena Vinod (SGS Technologies) Feedback and contributions to: Satish N (Anna University) All the earlier issues may be downloaded from