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Verizon Communications signs a three-year deal to buy at least $1.05 billion worth of optical fiber from Corning to improve its network infrastructure.

On April 18, this news became one of the most read tech and telecom stories of the day. It was not only picked up by trade news outlets, but financial media like CNBC and the Financial Times also ran the story. With so many outlets picking up the news, what can we learn from Verizon’s press release?


1. Strong News Hooks. In its press release, Verizon used two effective News Hooks to grab the attention of journalists and other readers:

  • Big numbers make news. Verizon uses the $1.05 billion in the headline and in the first two paragraphs of the press release. News outlets such as Reuters and LightWaveOnline followed the structure of the press release and used the headline figure in the same way.
  • Tie it to a trend: Verizon is connecting more homes and businesses to fast internet. Even though this isn’t a new message, the company used the press release to present its next generation 5G network rollout. Verizon aims to accelerate its 5G launch but it doesn’t specify how this will take place. Still, publications like Investor’s Business Daily and opted for the 5G angle because it’s hot now.

2. Ready-to-Use Background Information. Supporting the Tie it to a trend hook, Verizon provides strong background about its plans to expand its network coverage and capacity. It also explains why readers should care about this news, particularly right now. Demand for optical fiber is very strong and Verizon had anticipated a potential shortfall in supply, which could have jeopardized its rollout plans. To back up this storyline, the company also gives the floor to Corning which in the past couple of months has announced plans to invest more than $250 million in optical fiber and cable manufacturing facilities to help meet increased market demand.

3. Better Context. Verizon said it will buy up to 12.4 million miles of optical fiber from Corning each year from 2018 through 2020. The company could have produced an even better press release if it would have given more context. How many homes will be connected? How many miles of cable does it lay each year? How many miles of cable does it currently have in the field? Journalists love it when companies break down their numbers like that.

Conclusion: A Strong Partnership, Makes For a Strong Message

There is a clear and cohesive message from both Verizon and Corning. The press release’s storyline – about Verizon improving its infrastructure and Corning helping them realize this ambition – was picked up by many news outlets. If you want the media to pick up your press release, make it easy for them, flesh out your News Hooks and if you’re writing a partnership or deal press release, explore how the other party can help strengthen the story.

Check out Verizon’s press release here and let me know in the comments section below why you think it was so effective and what lessons you will likely apply in your next press release.

Alex Armitage is co-founder and CEO of Publiqly, whose Workflows help small and mid-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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