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: The formation of a partnership between Ford and Domino’s to test self-driving pizza delivery. 

Domino’s and Ford Testing Self-Driving Pizza Delivery Car – Fox News

Autonomous vehicles are not news, but the potential to have your pizza delivered by them is a novel concept which made headlines on CNN, Fox News, and The New York Times, but also featured on Wired, Techcrunch, and Business Insider.

Why did the media like this story so much and what can we learn from this announcement by Domino’s and Ford Motor Co.?

What Works:
  • Strong News Hook. Self-driving cars feature regularly in the news. But this press release takes that trend one step further: the unexpected newsworthy twist is the prospect of self-driving cars transporting food, not people. This experiment is unique because it is not about a car that drives itself, it is an assessment of customer acceptance of driverless pizza delivery. The collaboration of a car manufacturer and a fast-food chain is also an industry-first in the driverless car space, integrating the superlative news hook.
What Doesn’t Work:
  • Missing Details. This press release leaves many unanswered questions about the partnership, the cost, and the timeframe of the project. Readers curious about the background of the partnership would be left wondering about these details unless they stumbled across the Techcrunch article where the writer describes a pre-existing relationship centered on earlier app development. This release could also have included data showing growth of the self-driving industry.

What We’ve Learned: Readers Need Details and Data

Background details about the self-driving industry and the formation of this partnership would have enhanced this press release. Grab your readers’ attention with a powerful news hook and then make your press releases factual and engaging. Data, details, and facts strengthen your credibility. It’s one thing to tease consumers by showcasing your product or service as trending, but don’t disappoint them by not providing supporting information.

Find a balance where you engage the reader with your dynamic hook and then provide back-up data and details.

Check out Domino’s and Ford’s 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.

Alex Armitage 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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