You know that press release that your team or committee worked so hard to write? Reporters might just throw it away or delete your hard work. Easily increase your media coverage chances by avoiding these common press release mistakes. Your potential media coverage might even get you that next big client or donor.
Leading Press Releases with Trivia
Lots of companies and organizations like to lead with bits of information they love, such as their CEO’s name or a description of the beautiful venue hosting their event. Unless these are noteworthy keys to your story, they aren’t a compelling way to begin or headline a press release.
Instead, grab the editor’s attention with a headline that leads to the main idea as the opening of the press release. Good press release writing is practical and draws interest.
Using Sales Copy in a Press Release
While a colorful quote from your CEO may spice up a press release, the rest should read like a journalist wrote it. Local papers often print press releases as written, so they will reject pieces that read like sales copy.
Instead, use the sort of language you read in the paper. Reporters don’t try to sell you on the merits of a company. They present the facts and the various perspectives, allowing you to draw your own conclusions. If you feel that other media and company materials will enhance your story’s appeal, link to them online or include them with your release, within reason.
Too Many Quotes
Quotes add a crucial, personal touch to your press release. Yet, too many quotes take away from the main idea.
Instead, flush out your press release with information that supports your story. In some cases, additional quotes may supplement a press release if you feel the editor might decide to approach your story from a different angle.
Never Ending Press Releases
Many press releases go on and on, well beyond the standard page or two. People get carried away with details, accolades, quotes, and facts.
Instead, keep your press release brief, and include supplementary materials only if they clarify or enhance your story. If you have multiple angles or story ideas, you may even need to craft multiple pitches to the same publication. Columbia College Chicago offers a press release formatting guide, while also stressing that many press release styles are acceptable.
Hiring A Public Relations Press Release Writer
Press releases are often difficult to write for those who are unfamiliar with the style. Glaring errors may also repel an editor or reporter. As a Long Island public relations professional, I help clients clarify their stories and discover new angles. I use my professional press releases and local media contacts to garner coverage,and I also research new contacts and publications for clients outside New York. Call (631) 505-4011 today to discuss your next story, big or small.