Mistakes to Avoid in Writing a Press Release
Everyone has to start somewhere. And it is highly likely that when a person writes a press release for the first time (and without much research on it), they will make a lot of mistakes. And due to these minor mistakes, the press release might not be picked up by a journalist and grab their attention. But there is no need to panic or lose hope! In this article, we can help you understand the mistakes that you might have made in the press release and ways through which they can be avoided in the future.
1. You have rushed it
You may have failed to pay the required attention to a press release. Your manager demanded a press release. So, you rapidly looked into the process and cooked up a press release in a few hours. Sadly, this press release is bound to fail from the beginning.
Press releases require multiple reviews and proof-readings. They require a proper thought process. In order to get the work done as soon as possible, you might have rushed things through. Do not ever forget that by publishing and sending a press release publicly, you are representing your organization. Media, competitors, and every other stakeholder in the industry will see the press release and will form a judgment regarding it. Therefore, do not do it in a quick manner.
Instead, spend some time reviewing every aspect of it. Go through each and every word. Contemplate whether any improvements can be made or not. Search for the information that you need. Put together all the information and then write it.
2. You did not write the perfect headline for Press Release
Headlines play a vital role in attracting journalists. By adding a plain title to the press release, there is little to no chance that anyone will be interested in it. Create a headline that intrigues people to read more about the content which is in the press release. It should be relevant, yet short. There should be a hook present in the title so that the headline can be captivating.
3. You do not know your audience
Understanding the audience is a top priority when you are about to write a press release. Different audiences can be targeted through different formats of a press release. When publishing a press release on a wire, a press release overview needs to be provided. But when publishing it on your own website, you can write it in the form of a blog (or you can convert it into a blog if you have already written one).
Make sure you do not send the same press release to the journalists in your contact information list. By this, it is implied that a press release is distributed with a proper format that targets the journalists and fulfills their expectations. Therefore, it is absolutely mandatory to identify the audience.
4. Your content is not newsworthy
There might be a big change happening in your organization. And you would definitely want to share it with the world. But surprise, surprise. Nobody outside the organization cares or wants to read about it. Now you may think it is absolutely vital information. But others will not.
Do not write on topics that are not newsworthy. Identify only that news to share in which people might be genuinely interested in knowing. For example, a topic that involves minor detail changes in a product is least likely to interest a person who does not even use your product. A press release should not be issued for this purpose. Before writing a press release, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it interesting for people outside the organization?
- Does the news in the press release seem new and fresh?
- Does the content genuinely make up a story or is it just random information?
Even if these questions are answered as a no, there is something fishy with the press release content and it should not be published. This is because even though your press release is published, no journalist or media personality will pick it up, and hence it will have no worth attached to it.
5. You do not create hype on social media
Social media platforms are the ultimate tools for marketing. They are used in order to target the most relevant audience. Similarly, when trying to market a press release, the press release marketing departments should use social media. One of the many reasons why most press releases do not get visibility as compared to their competitors is because they fail to create its presence online.
Strategy to follow while writing a press release:
1. Before publishing the press release, create a post regarding it and publish it on every social media platform. Create anticipation about the press release in such posts.
2. Once the press release is published; create two or three follow up posts which provide a link which redirects the reader to the press release.
Disclaimer: This is one of the most basic strategies that has been mentioned. There are many other approaches that can be implemented to boost the viewers on the press release.
6. You did not use the correct format
While it is true that no hard and fast formatting should be followed when writing a press release. But this does not mean that no format should be followed and it can be written like any random content. The writing should always be formal.
Add Authentic Quotes
Quotes should be included. Many press release writers do not find relevant quotes and add some which are fake. Believe it or not, a journalist who regularly sees a press release, can distinguish between an original and fake quote. This reduces the authenticity of the press release and automatically trust on the organization is lost.
Never forget to add a call to action (CTA) at the end of the press release. This should be considered as the sole purpose of the press release: redirecting journalists (and their audience) to your product or service website.
Use Appropriate Multimedia
You might have included two relevant images in your press release. But if they do not deliver the right information, there is no benefit to them. Always use pictures, infographics, and videos that add value to your press release (and do not just improve the aesthetics of your press release).
While reading through this article, were you able to relate to some of the issues mentioned? There is no need to worry. These are minor mistakes which can be identified and improved. And through these enhancements, the reach of these press releases can be improved drastically!
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