It’s not my intent to get all DORKestra on you, but when I was younger I was a DJ and was obsessed with music. Not surprisingly, I also used to love rock and roll movies.
You may remember the movie “Eddie and the Cruisers.” It’s less likely that you remember its follow-up, “Eddie and the Cruisers II.” There’s a scene from that movie that really resonated with me as it has a very important lesson that relates very well to public relations. In the scene, that can be viewed here, one character explains that a fancy guitar riff was so dazzling that it wasn’t memorable. In contrast, “letting the music live and breathe” makes it last.
As the spokesperson for your company, you might not think this lesson applies to you, but you’re wrong. Too often we overwhelm reporters and the community with unnecessary information to the point where they don’t hear us at all. Try telling one story at a time.
The natural inclination when putting together a press release or sharing a story is to include everything. Don’t. The more you try to say in a story, the less your audience will hear or remember. You need the key message to be concise, and simple to understand.
Think of it this way. A TV news story on your event is going to be 45 seconds long no matter what. Do you want to try and jam 3 different messages into that 45 seconds, or are you going to have a better, more memorable story if the entire 45 seconds are on one specific topic or subject?
The same rule applies for a print story. Reporters normally want into a story knowing how much space on the page, or what word count they want to fill. If you clutter a story with interesting but unnecessary angles or facts, you’re wasting your space that otherwise could have been focused on your core point.
The more you try to say, the less your audience will hear. Keep the message simple to digest, and easy to remember.
And to help drive home my point, I’m making this my shortest PR Medic column to date.