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 product announcement from Nissan that captured the attention of the media with the debut of its 2018 Leaf electric vehicle.

New Nissan Leaf Adds Range, Competition to Electric Vehicle Market – The Mercury News

The Nissan Leaf announcement made headlines in The Wall Street Journal, The Mercury News, and Forbes, as well as technology publications.

What was it about this announcement from Nissan that got the media’s attention? What can we learn from this press release?

What Works:
  • Strong News Hook. Electric vehicle stories are in the press almost every day. But Nissan took this trend one step further by touting the Leaf’s affordability for the mass market and highlighting another trendy topic — some autonomous-driving technology in the car.
What Doesn’t Work:
  • Missing Narrative and Irrelevant Facts. While Nissan’s press release has helpful bullet points that highlight some of the Leaf’s bells and whistles, the statement fails to tell a compelling story. Nissan should have served up a narrative about the Leaf’s mass market appeal in an easy-to-digest way. Instead, the press release was bogged down with extraneous facts about Nissan’s “global initiative that focuses on how Nissan vehicles are driven, powered and integrated into society” as well as a lengthy paragraph about its so-called “e-pedal” technology.

What We’ve Learned: Tell a Bigger and Better Story

Nissan’s statement had a lot going for it by announcing a new product that’s on the cutting edge of a trend. Yet the press release could have gone a step further by offering a coherent narrative of the Nissan Leaf’s dominance in the mass market. Nissan’s statement only briefly touches on these aspects.

When writing your product announcement be sure to have a clear and engaging story that is backed up by relevant details and data. If you fail to include a narrative in your press release the media will pick up on your pitfalls and create their own story. The Wall Street Journal created its own narrative by saying Nissan was trying to jump start slowing sales. Here is a link to another example of an electric vehicle product announcement, but from Volvo

Check out the Nissan announcement and leave a comment section below what lessons you can apply in your next product debut press release.

Alex Armitage is the 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 to your inbox.

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