Creating a press release for a campaign or assignment requires thought and preparation, without the core fundamentals your release may end up right in the trash folder of your recipients email. A well-written press release can be an invaluable asset to your company and the success of the content within the release you’re trying to help generate attention for. Here are 7 mistakes most commonly made when writing a press release that you can easily avoid to become more successful at pushing your product, website or idea.
1. Lack of proper research. Spend the time to read and subscribe to press releases not only in the niche you work within, but from some of the larger and more successful companies in the world. Look to see how they are laid out, worded and put together and pick the best parts from each to incorporate into your own releases.
2. Don’t assume anything. Your reader may not know what it is they are getting, and since your goal is to have your reader generate buzz to their readers or media outlet, lay out the specifics for them.
3. Don’t belittle or talk down to anyone. While number 2 says to be specific with what you are writing, don’t write in a condescending manner, which almost always ends in a delete from the reader. Assume they are not a total idiot.
4. Don’t oversell your product or service. The purpose of a press release is to put it into the hands of those who have influence and a crowd to share it with. They are not the ones who will be buying or using whatever is in the contents of your press release. Don’t try to make them the buyer, rather look at them as yourreseller and present the information in the same way you would teach a sales associate how to sell to a customer in a store.
5. Don’t over-write or bloat the release. A press release is not an article, it’s meant to be informative and easily digestible; keep the fluff to a minimum and focus on the details that pertain to the service or product
6. Do write a clever subject line. Log into your email and check the messages you have deleted but never opened. Chances are the subject line didn’t entice you to open it. Be creative and to the point with the subject line, the difference here can be a success or total failure and most new press release writers skip the importance to this small but invaluable part of content delivery.
7. Don’t jump the gun with sending your release. Wait until you have all the facts, specifics and proper information for the contents within, then send it. Don’t send the release announcing a forthcoming release, which will break the trust and relationship with the readers you have. You’re better off sitting on a release for a few days then sending it out missing crucial information.
These simple mistakes can all be easily avoided, in turn you will have a higher success rate across the board, from emails being opened to media outlets picking up your content. As with all writing, reread, proof and then read it again to ensure it flows smoothly and covers the exact message across that is needed for each assignment.