First, Write the Press Release

Have you ever imagined something you wanted that then became a reality?

As a coach to founders and entrepreneurs in the creative industries, I believe in the power of the creative scene. After all, every Netflix series that entertains you, every great work of art that inspires you, and every book that connects with you on a human level, reflects the ability of a creator, artist, or writer to live a reality to the fullest. Started with what didn’t exist yet.

For artists, a simple way to bring a new creation into existence and test its viability is with a sketch or an outline. For entrepreneurs, wanting to reveal a new product, feature, service or business idea, a press release can also work.

Serial entrepreneur Gavin Hay, founder of Content Kings, which sold his first business for $15 million, writes a full press-release for every deal he wants to strike. “This creative visualization helps me focus distant objectives,” he says. “Writing the release not only identifies the future needs of a nascent relationship, but it also makes the deal on the table at a very early stage feel more real.”

This process of innovation, called “working backward,” involves writing a press release before you start developing whatever you’re hoping to launch. Amazon famously uses this “working backward” method that starts with the team envisioning the product that is ready to ship. Their first step is to draft a press release announcing the availability of the product. The audience of this press release is the customers of the product.

With this technique, product teams focus on working backward to write the success story of their product before starting work on their product. The idea behind this development process is that if teams can’t tell a compelling story about a product, it’s probably too complicated for the public to understand.

“What big headline do you want to bring? Who are the people who will deliver it? How will you do it? Why did you decide to do it? What does it look like to the outside world?” These are all questions that Barcroft Studios founder Sam Barcroft sought to answer in several “fictional” press releases written for his business, which he recently sold to Future plc for $30.1 million.

“What is the name of the product and what does it do? Can you explain it in layman’s terms? What is the scope of the project and how does it work? Your new product or service will help users better, faster, or more efficiently.” What helps them to do? ? How does it make them more successful?” asks Barcroft.

Simone Pennant is the founder of TV Collective, which launched a leadership development program in 2020 to support 100 future leaders in media from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds. She has found that writing a press release for every newly ambitious project helps her focus her mind on exactly what she wants the project to achieve, and often, magically, brings new ideas into existence. .

Pennant always suggests including at least one quote from someone involved in the success of the project that focuses on how the project improves the user experience and why they chose to be involved. .

“I also try to anticipate the challenges we will face in achieving the kind of success we envision for each new project,” says Pennant. “What could get in the way? How will we collaborate with the various stakeholders? I always make sure to mention the obstacles we’ve overcome in our hypothetical press releases.”

It’s important to take your initial draft to the team and get feedback. Iterate until you find a press release that is compelling and that can be clearly understood by stakeholders and end users.

One of my clients, who is a talented graphic designer, surprised me by sending me a fictionalized press release, which he took to the next level. He made a mock-up of the story in a trade magazine. It looked so real that I was fooled into thinking their ambitious new co-production had begun. At the heart of the creative scene involved in writing a fictional press release is creating a story you absolutely believe in.

By scanning brain activity we can see that thoughts produce mental instructions similar to actions. Mental imagery influences many cognitive processes, from motor control, attention, perception and planning to memory. And it has been found that mental exercises can increase motivation, increase self-confidence and improve motor performance, cognitive performance, and self-esteem. The hypothetical press release you write at the beginning of a project will not only test the idea, but it can also help bring it into existence. Save your draft. You can send it real in the not too distant future

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.