Monday, February 25, 2008

JCOM 2300 - Press Release Analysis


2. was quick to praise Honda's 2008 Civic GX for once again taking top honors of "Greenest Car" at the ACEEE Awards. The article was well-written and complimentary of the newest Civic for doing what its predecessors had done 5 years in a row - take first place. The article went into more detail about how Honda has had a history for making fuel efficient vehicles, and how unless something radical happens in management, they'll be looking to continue their award-winning, environment-saving ways.

The article was largely positive to Honda, but didn't forget to mention the "10 meanest cars" and how they compared to the "10 greenest cars." Among the less desirables were model vehicles from Ferrari, Bentley, and other gas guzzling machines that don't cite the environment as their No. 1 concern.

3. I was motivated to find this article in part because I own a Honda Civic (although it's no hybrid), and I've been impressed for several years now with the Honda Corporation in general. Their main website had more than enough access to various press releases that had been written by the company over the last several weeks, months and years.

I felt that the story itself was very relevant to the original press release, portions of it being taken as a boiler plate and thrown directly into the article. There were no customer testimonials, but that's something that I as PR Director at Honda certainly would have done. Honda cars are verbally viral. People like them and tell their friends about them. Then their friends by them. Customer testimonials would have been a wise addition to this particular press release.

For a press release to be effective, it's got to be attention grabbing, and it's got to do it quick. Editors are busy people with other things on their minds than delving deeply into each and every press release that comes across their desk. This press release was effective because it immediately told the reader that Honda had won another major award - that sticks. Had they started out by saying that Honda fares well against the competition when it comes to emission standards, the editor's yawn would begin as the press release reached the bottom of the trash can. For this reason, I felt that this press release was not only well written, but well strategized.

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