Press releases are a representation of facts. They are written for the journalists with the hope of publishing. These are a massive opportunity for brands, arts organizations, and businesses to reach out to their target audience via media. The objective of PR is to share your exciting stories with the world. These can be stories about anything from a new appointment to a product launch or an award win.
Today, with the explosion of social media, press releases are seen as somewhat less vital. However, with the digital revolution, revolutionizing the media as we know it, the PRs can still help you secure positive media coverage. They are indeed an incredible way to attract more customers and convert them to customers and boost your profile.
You can write the PRs yourself or have someone from your company do that for you. Alternatively, you can even hire an external supplier, such as a freelancer or a PR agency, to do that for you. However, there are a few common mistakes that most people make when drafting a PR. Let us discuss a few of them here.
The title is not working.
Your press release’s title is the first thing that a journalist will see. Hence, it is vital to ensure that the title is enticing, concise, and provides a complete overview of the study. Your title should be something that encourages the journalist to continue reading.
‘Your PRs should not have very lengthy or detailed titles. Make sure the title is punchy. If possible, use puns to make your title witty. Also, never use cliches in the titles,’ advises Jenny, a content strategist with TBFM, a platform where you can find top reviews, such as the best tandem fishing kayak.
Pitching the wrong audience
Journalists are people like you and me. They have interests, and they speak or write about them. So, you have to look for reporters who find your story interesting and then pitch it to them. It does not necessarily have to be via PR and can be via direct channels or by establishing personal relationships. If you do send a PR, ensure that the title is such that it can grab the attention and for all the right reasons.
Using the same lead and headline for all pitches, irrespective of the audience
Do you believe that sending the same PR announcement will result in bad results? Well, not really! For the wire, a generic press release works fine. For your site, a reformatted version of it can appear on the blog.
However, you can risk alienating journalists’ networks by using the same PR copy for all pitches without considering the audience.
‘You can elevate your PR coverage by taking the time and customizing your lead or headline when you send it to individual contacts,’ states Stuart, a PR writer who works with Razorhood, a platform with reviews such as the best razor for first time shavers.
It is only about you.
Well, of course, the PR should be about you, but then it should be helpful for your target audience too. So, add some informative quotes, videos, images, facts, statistics, and numbers to elevate the PR’s usefulness.
Your PR is not newsworthy.
Again a prevalent mistake that a lot of businesses make when drafting a PR – They release a PR for everything, regardless of whether it is newsworthy or not.
Julie, a reviewer for MyPlumbersChoice, a platform to look for prevalent plumbing reviews, such as no clog toilets, advises, ‘Before releasing a PR, ask yourself three questions –
If the answer to all three questions is yes, then you have a newsworthy PR, and only then should you take it forward for publishing. If not, you need to brainstorm and think of something more relevant and exciting that people care about.’
Making it an ad (overly promotional)
‘Many a time, we have seen businesses confuse the PRs with advertisements. You cannot have your PRs seem very promotional,’ comments Robert, a reviewer who has written reviews, such as the best fertilizers for palm trees.
See, the fact of the matter is you cannot make your PR overly promotional. They should be newsworthy. When you write a PR, you need to think of unique and exciting ways to associate it with current events.
For instance, if you are announcing a new service or product, tie it with recent news. In the present situation, you can talk about a service that can help people overcome or deal with traumatic pandemic events, such as COVID-19, which can be newsworthy.
Assuming that your audience has more info about the niche than they do
When you are in a niche or industry for a long time, you take most niche-specific information for granted. It is so routine for you that you assume that others know about it too.
However, when you write a PR, you need to write it as explaining to someone who is not from your industry and not well-versed with the ins and outs.
Further, break down the unpopular acronyms when using for the first time in the PR and not use industry jargon that people are not familiar with.
Assuming the audience knows nothing about the niche
See, it is a tricky balance that you need to strike. So, provide the necessary details, but do not go into detail on the topic, believing your audience knows nothing. If you add a lot of detail, it can make the PR very long, and most readers may lose interest.