The press Release industry has become extremely competitive. That too considering the fact that the industry has not seen any major disruptive improvement or innovation for the last 30 years or so.
Chances of your press release getting wide attention in the media and amongst the wider journalist community are already slim, given the huge volume of PRs that get published on a daily basis. Your mistakes while writing up the press release can make an already complex situation even difficult for your public relations department.
Here are the 10 worst press release writing mistakes that you should avoid:
Improper Use of Headline:
This is by far the most common mistake made while writing a press release and qualifies for the top spot in the 10 Worst Press Release Writing Mistakes you can make. Your headline is your one chance of grabbing someone’s attention. This is what captures the eye and forces a reader to go through the line underneath it. Stuffing it with keywords or not using a proper keyword at all, are equally wrong. Keep your headlines meaningful, to the point, and make sure it gives a one-liner summary of the press release.
Falling short of making a press release newsworthy
An important point to consider while drafting a press release is whether this is going to be newsworthy or not? Personal promotion, overly tilted towards selling a product or a service, and lacking newsworthy content are some of the basic mistakes the writers make while drafting a press release. No matter how you slice & dice it, a general article or a blogpost would never look like a press release.
Written in first person pronoun
Again a very common press release writing mistake. If you read any news story online or in your local newspaper, you’ll notice everything is written in the third person – unless we’re talking about quotes from actual people, of course. There should never be any “We did this” or “I think that” written in the body of a good press release – you have to imagine that someone else is telling your story at all times. A good tip is to pick up any newspaper and see how stories are written; you’ll notice everything that third person voice.
Incomplete or incorrect information
Another common press release writing mistake is failure to include complete or correct information. A press release should have complete information about the news item it is covering. It should have a proper context and should give adequate information about the company or business and also about the people involved or concerned with the news story.
Making a press release overly promotional
You won’t believe how easy it is to get sidetracked during writing a news story. At some point, we all start making it sound too promotional. However, the ones who know their limits get it back on track before hitting the “publish” button. When writing a press release, think about how to tie in with current events. For example, if you are announcing a new product or service, tie it in with the news.
Here is an example of one of the best-written press releases :
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