There are plenty of tips available about how to write a press release.
Instead, let’s look at some press release “sins,” with these five easy ways to have a press release ignored by the media.
1. Forget to include media contact information.
If a news angle catches the attention of a journalist, they might need to contact someone for additional information or interviews. If there’s no way for them to contact the sender of the press release (generally through either email or a phone number), your press release might be dismissed no matter how strong the news angle is.
2. Don’t make the news angle clear in the headline of the press release.
Headlines should be catchy but not “cutesy.” While they have to grab a reader’s attention, it’s just as important that the press release headline makes the basic news value of the story clear immediately.
3. Distribute a press release full of typographical errors.
If you can’t be bothered to proofread a press release, don’t expect coverage. If your news isn’t important enough for you to release clean copy, it isn’t important enough for journalists to waste their time on either.
4. Make the press release read like an advertorial.
Filling a press release with hype, marketing copy (using adjectives such as saying it’s the “best,” “wonderful,” etc.), or testimonials will turn off most journalists instantly. PR and advertising are not one and the same, and members of the media can tell the difference.
5. Write the press release in long blocks of text, or make it multiple pages.
Journalists can receive a large number of press releases every day, and they have to separate the quality news from the rubbish. If they can’t get the basic idea of your news by glancing at your release (through a descriptive headline and summary, and easy-to-scan paragraphs in the press release body), they won’t likely even finish reading it.
Do you have other ideas to add to this list? Share your thoughts on better press release writing in the comments below. Do you need a professional press release drafted for your own business? You can view samples and contact me through ProBusinessWriter.com.