Denny’s Nailed Media Relations with this Press Release

Jul 23, 2018

A Denny’s PR rep recently committed a major media relations faux pas – or so everyone thought.

The company sent an email to a group of reporters with a press release attached promoting a new $5.99 price tag for the Denny’s Super Slam value meal. However, the attached Word doc appeared to be an early rough draft of the release. It was riddled with edits and track changes suggesting exclamation points in the title and even adding extra bacon strips to the meal.

It turned out Denny’s sent the marked-up document intentionally to egg on journalists to open and read the release.

Image via PRWeek.


How To Get Noticed

The effort was a success. “We got a couple [outlets asking], ‘Did you mean to send this out?’ So it is gathering the attention we wanted and starting conversations,” Denny’s CMO John Dillon told PRWeek.

If you want to get customers interested in your products and promotions, you often have to convince the media to get interested first. It’s easier said than done. Journalists spend mere seconds reviewing pitches and press releases and look for any excuse to delete an email or ignore a tweet. Denny’s got journalists to pay a bit more attention to what was an otherwise run-of-the-mill company promotion.

Uniqueness Pays Off

Denny’s isn’t the first breakfast chain to employ creative media antics. IHOP also recently took an unconventional approach to promoting its new burger menu by temporarily changing the company’s name to IHOb. The name change was met with mixed reactions as consumers and media questioned whether or not the 60-year-old pancake house would actually do something so drastic. However, the move resulted in more press for its new burgers than any short press release could ever generate.

Long Story Short: Not every “news” release is all that newsworthy to the media. A creative spin on media relations can be an effective way to engage with journalists and ultimately reach more customers.

This article also appeared in our weekly newsletter, Long Story Short. It was written by Ben Cooper.

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