7 Viral Press Releases That Every Writer Should Read ( And A Bit Of History)

press release definition

 

Keywords : newsworthy, information distribution, facts, authentic ( drop in your comments to suggest keywords you think describe the purpose & characteristics of a press release)

We all know what a press release is & what purpose it solves. The who, what, when, where, why & how – the quintessential elements of a release. The list of the releases you’ll see here have all these elements, plus, something more. Yes, something more that turns these releases from a barrage of words to remarkably evocative stories.

When digging up releases, I stumbled upon what many consider as the world’s first press release. So here’s a bit of history on press release & how did the world’s first ever press release look like.

Who invented press release?

 

The name is Lee. Ivy Lee. On October 28, 1906 when West Jersey and Seashore Railroad’s electric car fell off a swing bridge in Atlantic City, drowning 50 people. West Jersey and Seashore Railroad  Lee represented the railroad and convinced them to distribute a press release about the accident to the journalists. He even convinced the railroad to provide a special train for the reporters & photographers so that they can visit the accident site. This was unprecedented.

The New York Times was so impressed by Lee’s release that the newspaper printed it exactly as Lee had written it.

 

Ivy-Lee First Press Release

 

Check Declaration of Principles by Ivy Lee, which he released in 1906; it is considered as an important move in the Public Relations industry.

Press Releases That Went Viral

 

1) Nintendo

 

Nintendo of America Hires Bowser as New VP of Sales
Doug Bowser Brings Decades of Experience, Not Fire Breath, to New Role

Nintendo of America has hired a new Vice President to lead the United States sales organization with a name that’s well-known in the Mushroom Kingdom. Effective today, Doug Bowser (no relation to the King Koopa and Mario’s longtime nemesis) will oversee a variety of sales-related functions, including Sales, In-store Merchandising, Retail Strategy and Retail Marketing. He will play a key role in driving national sales strategies to generate demand and achieve revenue objectives across all of Nintendo’s product lines. Bowser also will manage Nintendo’s key retail customer relationships and will oversee retail marketing for the Nintendo World store in New York.

Bowser will report to Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

“Doug Bowser is an outstanding addition to our Nintendo team, as he brings a deep blend of both consumer package goods and video game sales experience,” said Moffitt. “I know he will work tirelessly with our internal and external partners to ensure the broad Nintendo product lineup of hardware, software and accessories are strongly represented throughout U.S. retail points of distribution.”

Bowser comes to Nintendo from Electronic Arts, where he has worked since 2007, most recently as Vice President of Global Business Planning, a role that made him responsible for EA’s console, PC and mobile game forecasting. Prior to EA, he worked at Procter & Gamble in various sales leadership roles in Asia, Latin America and the U.S.

He attended the University of Utah, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications.

 

Instead of writing a bland, plain we’ve-hired-a-new-VP PR, the video games giant released a funny and quirky read. A VP who shares the same name as the villain who’s appeared in nearly all the Mario games since 1989 is funny in a way. And Nintendo leveraged it with just the right amount of comedic elements. It’s neither boring nor uproariously funny – it’s just right.

 2) Chevrolet

 

chevy-cruze-emojis

 

Chevy wrote an entire PR in emojis before the reveal of 2016 Cruze. Here’s what the carmaker said “Words alone can’t describe the new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, so to celebrate its upcoming reveal, the media advisory is being issued in emoji, the small emotionally expressive digital images and icons in electronic communication.”

3) Taco Bell

 

Taco-Bell-Redacted-press-release

After a 2 year hiatus, Taco Bell returned to Super Bowl with a new product. The release is cryptic and keeps one guessing from start to finish about the product.

 4) Michael Jordan Iam Back

 

Michael Jordan I am Back

 

Michael Jordan’s comeback announcement in just 2 words – “I’m back” is powerful yet subtle, is simple but conveys a wealth of emotions. Here’s shedding light on the making of this iconic press release.

 

He felt that it didn’t require an explanation or a justification,” said Falk, who faxed the final press release to media outlets. “I thought I was a pretty good writer, written a lot of things, but he said, ‘Let me do this.’ So he sat down at the table and thought about it for a couple of minutes and he wrote, ‘I’m Back.’ He said, ‘OK, that’s it.’ It was classic Michael Jordan. It was elegant in simplicity, it communicated how he felt, it said it all.

5) Anacin

 

Moments after learning that the world’s oldest man credits his longevity to a daily dose of six Anacin tablets and one banana, scientists at Insight Pharmaceuticals began to investigate whether ‘Bananacin’ – a banana-flavored Anacin tablet – might be the elixir for longevity.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130726/PH54078 )

According to multiple news reports, 112-year-old Salustiano “Shorty” Sanchez-Blazquez of Grand Island, New York, credits the banana-Anacin combo for his extended life. Born in 1901, Guinness World Records now recognizes Shorty as the world’s oldest man.

“Historically, apples are the fruit most associated with staying healthy and avoiding doctors,” said Jennifer Moyer, vice president of marketing for Insight Pharmaceuticals. “Our scientists had never looked into the banana before. But now that the certified oldest man in the world credits bananas and Anacin as his life-extending combo, we’re certainly going to explore whether a new ‘Bananacin’ product makes sense.”

Anacin, invented in 1916 by William Milton Knight, is one of the oldest brands of pain relievers in the United States. Its unique formula contains two important ingredients – aspirin and caffeine – to deliver fast pain relief from headaches. Anacin is currently available in regular and maximum strength tablets as well as regular strength caplets; Insight Pharmaceuticals is exploring a banana-shaped capsule for the new ‘Bananacin’ flavor.

“Forget the fountain of youth – ‘Bananacin’ could be a game-changer for life expectancy,” Moyer noted. “If nothing else, ‘Bananacin’ sounds delicious! And it only makes sense that the oldest man in the world recognizes the benefits of Anacin, which is one of the oldest brand pain relievers in the U.S.”

While Insight Pharmaceuticals scientists work to bring ‘Bananacin’ to drugstores nationwide, headache sufferers can visit www.Anacin.com to download a $2 coupon for any original Anacin product. Bargain hunters can follow Anacin on Twitter (@Anacin ) to double their coupon to $4.

“We’re committed to helping people have better days by giving them fast pain relief – especially for those great nights that are followed by rough mornings,” Moyer continued. “And if we can somehow discover how to help them add days to their life with ‘Bananacin,’ it’s a win-win.”

About Anacin:
Anacin®, a licensed product of Insight Pharmaceuticals, is one of the oldest pain relievers in the United States and has been a trusted brand for over 50 years. It is a leading cure for minor aches and pains associated with headaches, backaches, cramps, stiff muscles, the common cold, toothaches, and minor pains of arthritis. For more information, please visit Anacin.com or follow us on Twitter (@Anacin ) or Facebook (Facebook.com/AnacinRelief ).

It all started when world’s oldest man, Salustiano “Shorty” Sanchez-Blazquez, credited his longevity to taking a daily dose of anacin and banana. Anacin maker Insight Pharmaceuticals sprang into action and released a laugh-out-loud announcement that’ll tickle your funny bones. BTW laughter can also extend lifespan. So, keep laughing!

6)Netflix Orders Green Eggs and Ham

 

We’d love to share some happy news
based on the rhymes of Dr. Seuss.
Green Eggs and Ham will become a show
and you’re among the first to know.
In this richly animated production,
a 13-episode introduction,
standoffish inventor (Guy, by name)
and Sam-I-Am of worldwide fame,
embark on a cross-country trip
that tests the limits of their friendship.
As they learn to try new things,
they find out what adventure brings.
Of course they also get to eat
that famous green and tasty treat!
Cindy Holland, VP of Original Content for Netflix
threw her quote into the mix:
“We think this will be a hit
Green Eggs and Ham is a perfect fit
for our growing slate of amazing stories
available exclusively in all Netflix territories.
You can stream it on a phone.
You can stream it on your own.
You can stream it on TV.
You can stream it globally.”

 

A 13-episode animated Green Eggs and Ham series is coming to Netflix – and what better way than a DR Seuss inspired rhyme to announce it.

7)TMobile

 

Here’s what TMobile had to say after AT&T’s announced to pay customers $450 to switch back from T-Mobile

T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) today announced that pretty much everyone at the company is overcome with emotion and still kind of processing the decision by now-ex-rival AT&T to leave the dark side, step into the light, and join hands in supporting the Un-carrier consumer revolution.

“Call it an awakening,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility, “but I felt it was time to really stir things up and put the customer first for a change. And by “customer” I’m referring to our former customers who switch to T-Mobile, because our current customers don’t really qualify.” De la Vega said that the new T-Mobile switching offer was custom designed to entice its millions of contract customers to go ahead and give T-Mobile a try. “If for any reason you don’t love T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, which is now faster than ours[i], we’ll actually pay you up to $450 to come back to AT&T, I kid you not.”

Ok, De La Vega didn’t actually say that, but he might as well have. Thanks to AT&T’s apparent change-of-heart and incredibly generous $450 T-Mobile customer buy-back campaign, insane numbers of its very own customers and even families of AT&T employees are enjoying a risk-free, zero-cost opportunity to switch to the Un-carrier. If customers making the switch are not completely satisfied with T-Mobile and its state-of-the-art nationwide 4G LTE network (now fastest in the U.S.)i, AT&T will cover the costs for customers switching back to their own slower network, up to $450 with trade-in[ii]. Details of the new AT&T offer can be found at att.com/att/switcherpromo.

“Wow. I mean … wow,” breathed John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “I guess we all have moments of doubt. You know? Like, can the darkness ever be defeated? But that they’ve singled us out in this way is just so affirming. I guess we must be doing something right. I mean, if AT&T can change, it feels like anything’s possible.

“It’s kind of like that scene where Darth Vader’s lying there and Luke helps take off his helmet,” Legere continued, “and you see that, okay, sure, Darth Vader’s pretty ugly, but he’s human after all.”

[….] “Somebody pinch me,” said Mike Sievert, Chief Marketing Officer. “By offering a risk-free way for their millions of customers to come over to T-Mobile – AT&T has helped put this Un-carrier consumer movement into overdrive. At T-Mobile we stand for Contract Freedom, and I want to thank our friends at AT&T for helping us liberate their former customers. This isn’t just about switching offers — it’s about T-Mobile giving customers the service, the network, and the wireless experience they deserve, without having to worry when they switch.”

Sievert noted that AT&T’s recent full-page ad in The New York Times had signaled a real turning point in his mind – that the former industry rival had truly stepped out of the darkness and was seeking to mend its ways and support the Un-carrier consumer movement.

“I mean, a full page ad in The New York Times,” said Sievert. “That says commitment to me.”

Know more such viral press releases? Add to the comments section.

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