In Blog, lessons

Popular stories in the media often originate from a press release. Each week, we pick one of those popular announcements and distill down key PR lessons that you can immediately apply in your own business. This week: Apple took the media by storm with a product announcement that was short and sweet with effective visuals that couldn’t fail to attract attention.

Apple’s New Emojis: Dinosaurs, Dumplings and ‘ILY’  – The New York Times

Whenever Apple blinks, the media jumps. Let’s face it, everything Apple makes is news and this release was no exception. It was picked up by many dozens, if not hundreds, of media outlets including TechRadar, Forbes, The New York Times, and PCmag, to name just a few.

Why did the media like this story so much and what can we learn from Apple’s announcement?

What Works:

  • Strong Appeal to People’s Emotions. Apple cleverly used the cuteness of the new emojis to visually appeal to people’s emotions. Apple knows it has a product people can relate to so it didn’t need to use too many words in this announcement. Also, journalists didn’t need to second guess what this was about and Apple provided ready-to-use images to make their job easier.

What Doesn’t Work:

  • The ‘Why’ is Missing. Apple failed to explain why it released the new emojis and why it chose those specific characters. A playful quote from one of the graphic artists may have resolved this.
What We’ve Learned: If Your Message is Clear, You Don’t Need to Sugarcoat It

If you have great assets and your facts are compelling, use them for maximum leverage. Apple was promoting a colorful addition to its existing emoji collection so it used eye-popping visuals to tell the story. Cute visuals and descriptive language engage people’s emotions.

But, don’t forget to answer the questions: who, what, when, where, and why in your press release – Apple skipped the “why” in this announcement. By all means, keep it simple, but don’t forget to tell the whole story and include a quote to add credibility.

Check out the Apple announcement here and let me know in the comments section below why you think the media liked this story so much and what lessons you will likely apply in your next press release.

Marcel van de Hoef is co-founder of Publiqly, whose step-by-step systems help small and medium-sized companies write press releases that journalists and bloggers can’t ignore. Were you forwarded this post? Sign up to receive our weekly press release lessons directly in your inbox.

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