Your press release should be written so that a harried editor can, if need be, drop the thing, unchanged into his or her paper. It therefore must not only fill the basic who, what, when, where, why, and how, it must answer a basic question “why do my readers give a shit?” If your press release features the feelings and opinions of someone about whom the vast majority of Tennesseans have never heard smack-talking Republicans who are probably not even from their district, no papers are going to run it.
Maybe you don’t care if papers run your press releases. Maybe, instead, you think of your press releases as a way to communicate with your base and with interested outsiders. Then be sure that your press releases provide information your base needs–information about what Democratic politicians are doing and/or saying that might be of interest to us and steps we can take to support them in those activities.
DON’T FUCKING INSULT YOUR BASE IN YOUR PRESS RELEASES.
Maybe you aren’t writing press releases either to inform the outside world or to motivate the base. Maybe, instead, you are writing press releases to send volleys of stinging words against Republicans and to try to signal that you can steal conservative voters. In this case, be aware of the limitations of your abilities and, when you continually get your ass handed to you by TNGOP, switch tactics. I mean, shoot, look at the ass-handing press release, in which someone other that Chris Devaney is quoted, as if there’s more than one Republican who has an opinion on things. Perhaps you could study their strategies? Like, for instance, how (again, looking at the ass-handing press release) their Republican politician is mentioned repeatedly, while the Democratic politician is mentioned once, way down at the end.
They don’t give Democrats any more free publicity than necessary to make their points about their guy. And, even though Gleaves’s plenty mentioned, his words focus on his candidate. He looks good because he’s making Wirgau look good.
Do that! As much as I would like it if Chip kept his feelings to himself, if he has to have feelings, why are they always about Republicans? Why can’t he have some feelings about Democrats? Some Democrat running for state office somewhere must be doing something worth Chip having a feeling about, right? I vaguely recall we might have a guy running for Governor, who’s behind even me in the polls this morning and I only jokingly mentioned running as a write-in candidate on the Pro-Dairy Queen ticket once last night.
There is no shame in studying what works and emulating it. And, face it, the TNGOP’s press releases work better than yours.