When it comes to getting media coverage, candy shops have a major advantage. Candy! And who wouldn’t want to see more candy and chocolate on the news?!
If you aren’t getting any bites from your local media, chances are you haven’t submitted a press release lately. If you have taken the time to carefully craft a press release and send it to your local media, with little or no avail, you are not alone. Keep reading for five common mistakes businesses make when writing press releases, plus tips on how to get the media knocking on your door hungry for more!
1.) You didn’t proofread!
Nothing loses credibility faster than spelling errors and poor grammar. Make sure to read and re-read your press release carefully and, then, ask a friend or two to proofread it for spelling and grammatical errors. Invite them to share constructive feedback on how to make your press release more newsworthy.
2.) Too much hype!
If your press release sounds too much like an infomercial, there’s a good chance it will get rejected. The intent of a press release is to help the media deliver news. If you want to pay for advertising, however, the sales department will gladly accept your money and your hype.
A press release should deliver the facts and explain why your news is relevant in an objective manner. As an overall rule, avoid subjective claims, like “the best,” and other cringe-worthy marketing jargon.
3.) Me, myself and I included
A press release written in first or second person (e.g., I, we, you) is a big no-no! Not only does this make the content seem subjective, it creates a lot more work for journalists to make corrections, making it less likely to get published. Always write press releases in third person (e.g., he, she, it, they). Within a quote is the only place it is acceptable to use first or second person.
4.) What now?
If it is unclear what the reader should do after reading your press release, your press release has unfortunately missed the mark. A successful press release will have one clear call to action. When writing your next press release, be mindful of what you want to accomplish and make that objective clear.
5.) Not too long, not too short.
If your press release is too long, chances are you’ve lost your focus and you’ll lose your reader too. However, if your press release is too short, you could be cutting out vital details.
As a good rule of thumb, try to limit press releases to one page. But before going overboard with the backspace, make sure you’ve addressed the 5 Ws and 1 H (who, what, when, where, why and how).
A well-written press release can offer more return than any paid advertisement. Avoiding these common mistakes will help you write a press release your local media won’t want to pass up.
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