One way to build a culture of customer obsession is to work backwards and draft a hypothetical press release.

What is a press release?

A press release is a one page document that communicates how your product or service solves a need for your customer.

It’s a futuristic mock-up but looks like it was released in the news.

How does it help?

The process of creating a press release allows you create a vision for how your idea will benefit the customer.

It’s a great way to test your idea to see if it’s really what your customer needs. It also creates a timeline and sense of accountability with the team.

It All Starts With The Customer!

To help you get started, try answering these five customer questions. Having clear answers to these questions will help you write your press release and will also help you clarify your thinking:

  1. Who is the customer?

  2. What is the customer problem or opportunity?

  3. What is the most important customer benefit?

  4. How do you know what customers need or want?

  5. What does the customer experience look like?

Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

Drafting Your Press Release

After you've answered the 5 questions above...

  • Imagine that your customer is going to read the press release. Use as few words as possible and choose words that your customer understands.

  • Instead of naming your product or service, describe what the new experience is. 

  • Avoid marketing buzz words (e.g. simple, easy, fast). Let the reader decide if it's “easy” to use.

  • Put the most important information first. Imagine no one reads past the first paragraph. 

  • Only include metrics and data that matters to your customer (e.g. their time, their money).

  • Write your headline last - make it succinct and compelling.

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Other Applications

While the working backwards press release is a great strategy to focus on your customers, you can also use it in other ways, like:

  • Envisioning how you want your career to progress

  • Strengthening personal relationships

  • Building skills in your favourite hobby

  • Creating your dream home or lifestyle

To apply the strategy, you'll follow the same principles: write the outcomes in a press release format using simple language. You'll get the same core benefits of clarifying your vision.

Quiz

Which of these would be a good application of the working backwards press release approach?

Summary

Now that you understand the working backwards press release approach, how will you use it?

Choose one goal you're working towards and start working backwards by creating your own press release. It's the first step towards making your goal a reality!

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This Byte has been authored by

MM

Mojan Mobasser

Territory Account Manager

PJ

Peter Jones

IT Professional

SL

Sarah Laird

Account Manager - Startups at Amazon Web Services