When sending out all your fantastic stories to the press, you want to make sure it doesn’t flop at the first hurdle. Press releases should be concise, interesting, and above all, what your client wants to read. Here are 5 signs your press release is a real stinker.
- Not relevant –if you’re inviting a vegan journalist to review your steakhouse (or worse – a BBC Politic Editor!) then don’t expect a reply (or at least a nice one).
- It’s an advertisement (for you!) – there’s a big difference between an advert and a news story. Journalists aren’t stupid, they won’t give you a free advert. It needs to be news-worthy, and be written in a news-like fashion – if the focus of the press release is you or your small business and/or you’ve mentioned your name 15 times – you’ve missed the mark!
- Spelling and grammar – it may seem like another obvious one, but if you don’t bother checking your spelling and grammar, a journalist is not going to bother publishing it. It makes the company look unprofessional and in some cases stupid. Let’s face it, journalists are busy, a copy and paste job is going to be a lot more attractive than one that has to be proof-read.
- Pictures – having pictures in your press release makes all the difference. Ever heard the expression ‘a picture is worth 1000 words’? But make sure they’re good pictures. Journalists are much more likely to want to see photos of your product than of your random friends – and remember to tell them who has copyright and to send pictures in a high-res format.
- Muddled – if your press release goes off on different tangents, the message you want to send is not going to be clear. Be concise, explain what’s happening, when, where and how people can be part of it.