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Call me cynical if you like

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Call Me Cynical If You Like

Call me old (hey, it’s all relative). But when Valentine’s Day comes around I have low-level dread because I feel like I’ve seen and heard it all before.

Pity the sender of press releases about ‘lovers’ jam’ or ‘why these plant-based oysters are the most romantic food of 2022’. (Actually I’ve never heard of the latter but surely it’s only a matter of time before they really do exist…)

I’m sure quite a few journalists feel the same way and that a lot of emails are just dispatched to the waste basket or junk folder without being read – which is a shame if there is something interesting in the (no doubt carefully crafted) release.

It’s a bit of a no-win situation because Valentine’s Day is a big money spinner and an opportunity to get a client some attention, but risks backfiring if the product or place really has no real connection to the theme. I mean, does anyone really buy their lover a frying pan* for 14 February?

What would get more cut-through from me and, I suspect, other journalists, are human stories. I’d love to hear from restaurateurs about their funniest or strangest experiences from previous Valentine’s services, or from the weird products that were under consideration from, let’s say, a chocolate company but which never made the cut.

I appreciate these can’t be pitched to multiple publications as they’re bespoke – but being the lead subject of one big feature (which then gets picked up and shared widely) is a more shrewd approach, I’d argue.

*That frying pan was from my now-husband. But it’s the exception rather than the rule!


What Lisa Thinks…

“I liked the genuine tone and clear information within this press release on a new product in the (frankly quite crowded) nut butter market. It was enough to make me read on and click through – and a slightly random 12% off made me chuckle too.”

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A 2022 aim: Travel less, stay longer


Are newsletters the new press releases?


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