“Just say it’s a substantial seven figure sum….”

There are few things more frustrating for a PR guy than a client not wanting to divulge the crucial details for a press release that they want you to publish and chase.

This is more common than you would think. I have had very excited clients ring me about “huge” deals and the possibility of sending out a press release to the industry.

Me: “Brilliant!! Congratulations. Who are they?”

Client: “They don’t want to say: for competitive advantage reasons. But they are really well known in the auto industry.”

Me: “Okay, great. So…how much is it for?”

Client: “We don’t want to say that either. For competitive advantage reasons. Can you just say it’s a substantial seven figure sum?”

Let me stop you right there. This will never get any coverage for you. Never. Unless you are prepared to divulge the most basic of information, even the most supportive of editors is not going to cover it. Traditionally, the first paragraph in a press release is expected to give basic answers to the questions of 'who, what, when, where and why'. If the anwers to at least some of these are not detailed – and in the therefore extremely unlikely event an editor or journalist takes my call on such flimsy information – these will be the very first things that they ask. And they will not go any further unless they get answers.


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