PR professionals are the Jedi Masters of the communications galaxy.

A Public Relations Jedi is on a lifelong quest for knowledge, brings harmony where there is crisis and chaos, and uses ‘the Force’ of powerful communications to defend and protect their brand and organization.

In the spirit of #MayThe4thBeWithYou, the annual celebration of George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise, members of PR Newswire’s Strategic Communications and Content team present tips on how to channel the Force in your communications strategy.

1. Your Press Release Path You Must Consider, Before Jumping Into Battle

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, press releases were mere words on a page that announced your strategic partnership. But these are not the press releases you are looking for. To achieve communications success, great strategy you must have. Don’t think of press releases as single scout vessels sent on lone missions of hope. Each release must fit into a campaign that may include multiple releases, strong visual content, and leverage assets such as your blog and social channels.

Remember to be brave in your campaign strategies and avoid the press release Death Star by thinking creatively when choosing the content you share.

– Victoria Harres, VP, Strategic Communications & Content

Download our checklist High-Impact PR Planning that Drives ROI & Supports Demand Generation to learn more about developing your strategy.


2. Let Your Voice Flow Through You

Ready to write your press release? As Obi Wan Kenobi once said, “You will find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” Finding the right angle for your release is a key component to telling your brand’s story in a way that not only presents your organization well, but will truly resonate with your audience.

Identifying your voice is a great place to start. Work to develop a distinct tone that people can identify easily. Think Darth Vader, but maybe a touch less sinister.

Don’t be afraid to dabble with storytelling by adding narrative elements, such as quotes and multimedia assets. And be sure your release is formatted to be readable–a short, tweetable headline, bullet points and section headings give your content better context.

When in doubt, channel the Force—er, trust your instincts, and “Always remember: Your focus determines your reality.”

– Danielle Capriato, Manager, Strategic Communications


3. Multimedia Assets Equal Are Not

“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi.” Princess Leia’s memorable video hologram provides a strong emotional element to her plea. Can you imagine a text message having the same effect?

Adding visuals to your messages is vital, but not all multimedia elements will generate great results. The most effective images and videos add emotional context to your message or help the reader quickly understand a complex idea. When audiences are entertained or hear valuable new ideas, they’re more likely to share that information with others.

The Force is strong with visual elements that are easy to view on our mobile devices, so opt for simple images and graphics with larger sized fonts instead of complicated illustrations that include paragraphs of tiny text.

– Jamie Heckler, Senior Creative Manager


4. Earn Media, You Will, By Focusing on Relationships

Don’t let the work you put into your press release go to waste by failing to put thought into your distribution and media outreach.

Relationships are at the heart of all earned media — regardless of whether you’re trying to grab the attention of a major journalist, social media influencer or your customers.

Get to know the media and influencers in your niche and earn their trust. Don’t fall to the Dark Side by being self-serving in your outreach. Journalists are looking for helpful, newsworthy content that’s not overly promotional. That could mean data on an emerging trend or informative and engaging multimedia.

– Amanda Hicken, Senior Manager, Strategic Content


5. Conquer the Social Media Galaxy with a Little Help From the Dark Side

Thanks to social media, press releases now reach far beyond the media. To get your news in front of this online audience, you need a plan. The Death Star wasn’t built in a day, and neither should your social communications plan.

When developing your social strategy, pay attention to the world around you. What’s popular on your space station? Research topics before crafting your message.

Find trending hashtags and target important members of the Galactic Republic–I mean key influencers. If the emperor of your industry is tweeting about new TIE Fighters, maybe you should too.

Tie it all together by including social media calls to action within your press releases.

Whether you’re a PR Padawan or Press Release Master, may the Force be with you as you go forth and use these tips.

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