Do’s and Don’ts to Follow When Writing a Press Release
Press releases play a vital role in forming the marketing strategy of an organization. Everyone wants a maximum number of relevant journalists to pick up their press releases. But amidst hundreds of press releases, there is a high chance that your press release will get lost in them. The goal of every marketing department is to come up with a press release which catches the eye of a journalist and they pick it up. Even though writing a press release is not a difficult process, some simple mistakes can be avoided from the start to ensure that a press release reaches the target audience. The purpose of this article is to explore different precautions that need to be taken when coming up with the content of a press release.
What to Do When Writing a Press Release:
1. Do come up with a catchy headline.
The most important thing when writing a press release is to come up with an eye-catching headline. Imagine yourself as a journalist. You receive hundreds of press releases in a day. You are most likely to ignore all of them except the ones which have an interesting headline.
Adding a humor factor within the headline can attract the reader. Other than that, a headline which genuinely interests the journalist can gain some attention. In order to increase visibility and get noticed among hundreds of other press releases, the perfect headline needs to be written. Always remember a plain headline can ruin the most well-written press releases.
2. Do write the perfect subject line.
Most press releases are sent to the journalists through emails. Scrolling through an email list of hundreds of emails, the ones which stand out are the ones with the perfect subject line. The perfect subject line grabs the attention of the reader in just a single read. Make sure you give your best efforts when writing a subject line. It serves as a make or break deal for your whole press release.
3. Do write in the third person.
Using the right tone is the most important thing when writing a press release. This means that when you are writing for journalists, make sure you do not use pronouns or casual language. Remember most journalists do not like to read casual blogs like press releases. Instead, they want to read professional writings which are told in the third person form. Using words like “you”, “your” just reduce the qualified tone that you are striving to portray in the press release.
4. Do include appropriate quotes.
This is the most important part of things that need to be done when writing a press release. Include proper quotes. Take quotes from people who are seniors or executives of your organizations and use them in your press release. As tempting as it may seem, include those quotes only which have been said by someone. By writing quotes by yourself or including fake ones just makes the press release seem a lot less credible.
Never forget; journalists have extensive experience with press releases, they can easily identify which quotes in the press release are genuine ones and which are made up.
5. Do mention a contact at the end.
You have written a great press release. The journalists have read through it and want to talk to you more about the news BUT you forgot to mention contact details at the end. This mistake will render your press release to zero. Any benefit that you might have gotten from it is lost completely. Therefore, it is absolutely mandatory for you to mention some details for people to contact you.
Also Read: Steps to Follow When Sending a Press Release
What Not To Do When Writing a Press Release:
1. Do not mention what you do not offer.
Most press releases are written when there is an offer to be announced by an organization. But some press releases include things which the company does not provide. They add exaggerated features or discount offers which they eventually fail to deliver. By doing so, the press release content ruins the credibility of the organizations. This is a pitfall which many fall victim to but can be avoided if the press release is written vigilantly.
2. Avoid working hastily.
Most press release marketing departments work on tight schedules. Everything needs to be delivered in the earliest time possible. But when working on press releases, that is not the case. A good press release is never completed in a short span of time. By rushing through the press release, chances are you that you will make many mistakes in them. Do not work speedily rather take your time. Recheck your press release.
3. Avoid naked advertisements.
No doubt that press releases are written to spread the word about your organization but that does not mean you can advertise in them. Before writing a press release, understand the difference between an advertisement and a press release. Journalists immediately dump a press release when they see any form of advertisements in it. Therefore, do not add naked advertisements in them.
4. Do not write acronyms and technical jargon.
Not everyone who reads your press release will have knowledge about the technical jargon or acronyms that are used often in your profession. Do not use them in the body of your press release. Most journalists lose their interests as soon as they detect a few of those in the text and toss that press release aside.
5. Refrain from making grammatical mistakes.
Even the most minor grammatical or spelling mistake can make your organization look unprofessional. Proofread whatever you write several times. Once you have exhausted yourself by reading over and over again, it is important to take a second opinion. A second pair or eyes is always more helpful and adds value to your work. But no matter what, try not to make grammatical or spelling mistakes because it will immediately reduce the worth of your press release.
6. Do not try too hard!
When writing a press release, the first and foremost thing that you must do is to NOT panic. Do not forget that it is no rocket science. The method used and the audience targeted is slightly different. Other than that, a press release is just like any piece of formal writing. When writing an effective press release, it is always important to place yourself in place of all the journalists you want to target. Criticize and analyze your press release as though you are the journalist. See what attracts you and how you, as a journalist, can extract useful information out of the press release. Do not push yourself or become anxious when writing about it. Do not try hard, just give your best. Whether a journalist picks up your press release or not, is based on your luck.
Best of luck, happy writings!
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