06 Feb 5 fatal flaws of the rubbish press release
For more years than most of us can recall, press releases have been a stable tactic in the world of profile raising.
A good news story telling of a company’s success is seen by many business owners as what PR is all about, but whilst it can be a sure fire way to be the journalist’s friend, it can horribly backfire.
There are many common mistakes people make when drafting a press release. Here are five and how you can avoid them.
1 The headline is dull
The first thing a journalist will see is the headline, so make sure it’s snappy, interesting and gives a solid reason for a journalist to read on!
The journalist’s finger is hovering over the delete button as a default, so start with something that makes them want to read it.
2 Write it like a news story
News stories are written in the third person – unless there are quotes. Look at any newspaper and see how stories are written and use this as a template of how to present it.
3 There are huge gaps of information missing
Include all the relevant facts. Try to add a summary in your first paragraph. Read the Six Honest serving Men poem of Kipling.
Where is your organisation based? Who does the story involve? When did it happen?
Some journalists won’t be patient looking for facts, so don’t give them the chance to bin your news.
4 Your copy is just a big advert
Editorial is news and advertising is….adverts! If the copy is overly promotional it will be deleted in a nanosecond. Websites, magazines, and papers rely on advertisers paying for space.
Sometimes you may not be sure if it is an advert or not. There is a tightrope that is walked every day. Please trust the judgement of your PR agency, or ask one if you are doing the press release yourself.
5 The story is dull
In the subjective world of news, you may find your press release may be welcome by some, but not by others. There are hundreds and thousands of businesses vying for publicity. However, your story may be extremely boring.
It’s best to take a step back and say to yourself: “Would this interest me if it was about someone else.”
Deadly boring press releases are at an all-time high. Really take time to make sure you have something that is newsworthy.
There are many other reasons that a Press Release can fail, too long, too short, irrelevant to the publication, poorly punctuated, over-hyped, inaccurate etc, etc.
However, it is something that can be learned and the fatal flaws can be overcome with time and experience.
If you need help crafting an effective press release, then contact us today. We’re happy to help and advise.