First Marketing HOWTO (write a press release)

Larry Cafiero larry.cafiero at
Mon Sep 14 06:45:55 UTC 2009

You have a paragraph on this wiki page that includes the following:

"Press release worded so it can be copy/pasted into a news article by lazy
journalists. Include quotations. End with contact details for someone they
can talk to plus a url where they can get photos or video. Always remember:
Journalists are lazy! They love it when you do their job for them. "

There are several things wrong with this:

-- Having a well-worded press release with supporting materials is something
you should always provide journalists and media because it reflects a high
degree of professionalism on the Fedora Project's part, as well as
reflecting the quality of the product Fedora provides. Most marketing and
public relations professionals will tell you that putting the best face on
your product is the reason you do this, not because "journalists are lazy."

-- Speaking personally, as a newspaper editor I appreciate the fact that I
can find a well-written and informative press release while going through
the 200-300 of them in an average workday. You can bet the farm that those
releases generally get better attention than ones that are sloppy and
unclear, no matter how "great" or deserving the subject matter might be.

-- The news industry has gone though many transformations over the last
several years, most of them not exactly positive ones. Primarily, in the
wake of massive newsroom layoffs, some reporters and editors are doing two
and three times the amount of work that they had been doing as recently as
18 months ago -- and that is the case in my situation.

-- Having said this, when press releases are "worded so it can be
copy/pasted" (whatever that means) into an article, this is appreciated by
the overworked reporter/editor because a.) you've taken the time to be
thorough with your information and background materials and b.) you have
written something that takes little, if any, editing, and overworked
reporters and editors appreciate the help. You're "not doing their job for
them" as much as you're doing your "job" to get your information published.

So you should consider rewriting this part of the wiki to reflect a more
professional position toward the media.

Larry Cafiero

On Sun, Sep 13, 2009 at 7:54 PM, Mel Chua <mel at> wrote:

> While writing this week's FWN beat, I threw stuff from the recent CC press
> release discussion on a wikipage.
> I figured this would be a good section to start as we accumulate more
> collective Knowledge of Marketing:
> (For an idea of
> what I'm hoping we'll end up with, see
> --Mel
> --
> Fedora-marketing-list mailing list
> Fedora-marketing-list at
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