Cover Your Basis, Explain Things Thoroughly and Do Not Make Common PR Mistakes
If you want to write a press release, that means something good has happened (majority of the time) and you want to announce it to the world…or at least a broad audience. Do not lose the impact of this news you want to share by putting it together with a poorly written press release. These do’s and don’ts can aid with the drafting of your next press release.
Know the goal of the press release. Is it to introduce a new product? Announce an event? Introduce a new employee to the company or an individual has taken a new role. Never loose site of the stated goal of the release.
Start your press release off with a BANG, hook that reader in the first sentence and they will keep reading. On most press release wires – you will only get a sentence or two at most to hook your reader – entice, hook, and reel ‘em in. Your time is precious – your reader’s time even more so – don’t squander it.
Provide meaningful quotes from a credible and related source to the topic of the press release, and if possible make sure they are available for any follow up questions, interviews, etc.
Keep the press release to one page and break it up into easy-to-read and follow paragraphs. You can always provide more information and greater detail in follow ups with your audience, but if it is too cumbersome you may scare them off. There are no bonus points for higher word counts here.
Provide the needed contact information for the reader to find out more, a website URL, e-mail, and phone number for the appropriate individual to field questions. Check and double check these – don’t assume the embedded link will work or is correct. Test and retest before you submit. There is nothing worse than embedding a link that takes your reader nowhere, or worse yet somewhere you didn’t want them to go.
Deliver the press release in an easy to use format. Microsoft Word is the best option, with pictures as attachments – not embedded in the release itself – you need to make your release easy for the writer or editor to pull pertinent information from, reproduce, cut and paste with, etc.
Double Check your facts. Proof read and re-read your release. Make sure the engineers and product managers or event coordinators have read it as well. Are the technical specs correct? Do you have the right date, time, and location for the event? Nothing is worse than having to retract a release or claw back information because you got it wrong. Make sure the release has a second set of eyes on it before it goes out.
Don’t craft a generic press release that does not provide the reader with the information and desired outcome they want. If it’s not newsworthy, figure out a way to make it so, or let it pass. If you become the proverbial boy that cries wolf, constantly sending irrelevant releases, no one will listen when you do have something truly newsworthy.
Don’t drag the press release on with industry jargon, you will lose the ready before they get past the first paragraph. Don’t try to talk over your audience, but don’t talk down to them either – know your audience, respect their position and craft your message accordingly.
Don’t fill the press release with all quotes, readers want to read the information and then get insight from the source. Details, facts, specs, etc. should not be in the form of a quote from the owner, product manager or designer. Let the quotes add color and insight – let the body do the heavy lifting.
Don’t fill the press release with fluff, this will overshadow the pertinent and important information, cut to the chase.
Don’t include a URL that does not work or goes to the wrong page. Check to make sure the URL is correct and working, and then double check.
Now that you have crafted a press release and ready to submit it, be sure to read this article and make sure you have considered these five tips to getting the most out of it.
If you need a press release drafted, Providence Marketing Group will be happy to help. No long-term commitment – just helping fellow industry folks like you get the attention you deserve Reach out to me and find out more, let us help you share your good news for all to hear.
About the Author…Glenn Walker serves as the VP of Operations for Providence Marketing Group. In this role he handles most of the editorial relationships and ensures all their clients press releases are distributed and received by the correct media outlets. For more information, please visit www.www.providencemarketinggroup.net .