A press release has a standard, recognizable format and is crafted and distributed to help you define (or redefine) your position as an industry expert to promote your new products, events, services, and improvements in a highly convenient manner while allowing you to profit from highly beneficial media exposure. Things seem pretty clear, so what could possibly go wrong when it comes to press release writing? Believe it or not, numerous inexperienced content writers make more than a few embarrassing mistakes while trying to come up with a good press release for a particular client. Read on to discover some of the gaffes novices make, and learn how to avoid them.
1) Fabricating facts
This is one of the worst mistakes writers can make while trying to come up with an exceptional press release, which would capture the attention of a larger number of journalists and media channels. Don’t ever try to fabricate facts or accentuate the attributes of your new products and/or services. Be honest and transparent at all times and try to present all facts in an entirely objective manner. Do not share biased information, as it will most likely be ignored by experienced reporters. Also, boost your credibility by backing up all of your statements with hard numbers, allowing you to prove a point.
The bottom line: Stay true to yourself and distribute only 100% accurate, verified information to avoid embarrassing surprises that could end up compromising your credibility in the long term.
2) Making your press release sound like a sales pitch
The main goal of high-quality press release writing is to get that 10% of the public (industry experts, editors, and journalists) on your side, encouraging them to communicate your message to a wider audience. Some content writers neglect this fact and make their press release sound like an extremely boring, predictable sales pitch, trying to talk people into doing something. Don’t fall into this trap. Make sure your press releases are informative, truly useful, and display no-nonsense content.
3) Not opting for the inverted pyramid structure
Keep in mind the fact that you write for busy journalists who have a nose for news. They aren’t willing to waste time on facts that aren’t newsworthy. This is why it is extremely important to opt for the inverted pyramid structure when it comes to press release writing. The essential information (and the most important keywords relevant to your business) should be placed in the first paragraph for maximum impact on your audience.
4) Neglecting the crucial importance of the mandatory “about” section
Assuming that your new accomplishment has already managed to capture the attention of many editors, are you prepared to answer additional questions? Do your main recipients know where to find you in case they want to know more about your buzz-worthy achievement? Numerous content writers seem to disregard the vital importance of the “about” section placed at the end of your press release. A short bio will help journalists discover essential details about your company in a time-effective manner.
5) Opting for a dull, messy, unappealing, extremely long title
A press release that does not benefit from a short, concise, attention-grabbing title will most likely be rejected by reporters and editors who are constantly looking for exciting topics that could be received with great enthusiasm by a larger segment of the public. A dull, flat headline will get you nowhere and will most likely compromise all of your hard work.
Avoid these 5 common mistakes and always remember that practice makes perfect. If you need a helping hand when it comes to press release writing, count on an experienced content writer with the skills, the in-depth knowledge, and the expertise required to bring you one step closer to the free media exposure that you’re hoping to get.