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Content We Love – A Perfect Press Release

Or at least very close to perfect – I am referring to a press release from Qualcomm in February, with the headline “Qualcomm and China’s National Development and Reform Commission Reach Resolution”, which can be found by clicking on the following link:

In 2013, the NDRC opened an antitrust investigation against Qualcomm. Since then, the probe had been closely watched partly because it means so much to the highly competitive smartphone industry. And so, the market has been expecting Qualcomm to come up with a decent press release – a straightforward, articulate and information-rich one – when there is a result, so as to clear up the public-relation cloud over its business brought on by the probe.


Bury the penalty

With so much information surrounding such a complicated case, Qualcomm’s release writer is sophisticated enough to go directly to the rectification plan it reached with the NDRC, piling up all the hefty details of the plan before mentioning the record breaking fine. Such an arrangement quickly dissipates a key market concern about whether Qualcomm’s business model of patent licensing would be allowed to go on or not. Moreover, it cools off any possible negative knee-jerk response from investors due to the sheer size of the penalty.

Tone up the quotes

In the lead paragraph, the release uses the term “disappointed”. This term simply disappears in the two quotes that follow. Instead, both of Qualcomm’s top officials quoted in the release sound upbeat, starting their lines with “We are pleased..”. Such a delicate treatment not only buffers the release from becoming finger-pointing by any specific Qualcomm official against the authorities but also helps depict a calm and positive image of the company’s leadership.

Bullet points and tables

The press release is a good example of how to use bullet points and tables to present complex information in an organized way. Note how the two tables providing the company’s guidance on its key financial figures present the data in a precise manner  which is music to the ears of professionals and investors.

In fact, Qualcomm’s share price leapt some 4.7% the day when the press release hit the wire.  The exact impact of this well-written press release had in helping Qualcomm defuse a possible PR quagmire isn’t something easily measured, but at least the professionalism it exhibits is respectable. I believe wider circulation of such brilliant press releases in China, or better, translated into Chinese and distributed through PR Newswire’s extensive network in China, will help to further raise its standing with both Chinese media and the general public.