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: a combination partnership and product announcement press release from auto racing company Formula 1, announcing an esports series to run in conjunction with the company’s auto-racing world championship.

Formula One launches eSports world championship – Reuters

The first-of-its-kind partnership in the esports industry was picked up by mainstream news outlets like Reuters and The Guardian, as well as sports media including ESPN. Technology and gaming outlets like engadget and PCMag also ran stories.

What made this news so attractive to the media and what can we learn from this product announcement from Formula 1.

What Works:
  • Strong News Hook. The announcement from Formula 1 used two key news hooks. The media loves “firsts” and the announcement utilized the superlative news hook by highlighting that it is the first of its kind in the auto sports gaming industry. The partnership between Formula 1, game developer Codemasters and esports specialist Gfinity also tapped into the fast-growing trend of so-called esports, or competitive video game tournaments.
What Doesn’t Work:
  • Back Up Facts With Data. The three quotes from Formula 1, Codemasters and Gfinity at the bottom of the press release all send the same message and look self-serving rather than adding to or backing up the narrative to explain the significance of this news. Formula 1 should have backed up the news with data that shows the strength of the esports industry and Formula 1’s place in this booming sector. Some additional details about the competition might also have been helpful.
What We’ve Learned: Back Up Your News Hooks With Data and a ‘Why’

Formula 1 grabbed the media’s attention by using two key news hooks. And the news itself was bound to entice general news readers, as well as sports and gaming enthusiasts. Formula 1 did an excellent job highlighting the uniqueness of its new product and the new partnership.

But Formula 1 could have taken its announcement further to help answer the “why” and tell a broader and more significant story. If your company is making a new product announcement, always tell the reader why your product is unique and different. The same goes for your company’s new partnerships. Adding data to any press release almost always backs up the news and tells readers why your announcement is significant.

Check out the Formula 1 announcement here and leave a comment below with why you think the media picked up on this story and what lessons can be applied 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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