Press Release Errors to Avoid

Have you just launched a new product or service? If so it can be amazing but you’re probably aware that you’ve got to get some attention from the press for your product to sell. How do you do this?

A press release is the first step on your journey to filling newspapers and magazines with free publicity. A great press release can grab the attention of editors and journalists. A bad press release on the other hand will end up straight in the recycling can.

So what’s a good press release example? Here’s everything you need to know.

1. Too General

Press releases that are too general don’t say anything. They just tell the reader that yours is another generic product or service that they will have no interest in. Consider the reasons you might have for issuing a press release in the first place before you begin.

Remember who your audience is. It’s not potential clients who are trying to buy your product it’s editors and journalists. They want a juicy story for their newspaper or magazines so you need to consider the editorial value of the product you have. What specific features does it include that the journalists can write about?

Do the Work for Them

Journalists and editors are busy people. With the decline of print media and budget cuts, they are under pressure like never before. Anything you can do for them that will save them time will put you their good books

Think about this when you write your press release. Put the most newsworthy elements of your story at the top in bullet points, don’t tease them. This is the correct press release format.

More importantly, consider how your press release could work as an article and try to frame your press release in such a way that it already is a prewritten article for them that they could easily slot into their newspaper or magazine.

Make sure you link them to your email, social media, and phone number if they want to chase you and to include details of any sources that you think might be useful for them.

2. Don’t Overload the Reader

If you’re wondering how to write a press release then the answer is clear: press releases should be focused and about one product, service, or idea. But press releases don’t need to go into lots of detail that is irrelevant to the editor reading it.

Specific technical details should be left out; the editor can always ring you if they need further clarification.

Try to create a narrative from your product or service, don’t offer lots of small seemingly unconnected ideas as this can make the reader feel overwhelmed as well.

Run your press release past an in-house editor to get their opinion as well before you push on with it; you should never send anything out into the world without a fresh pair of eyes looking it over.

Also read: Seven Things Every Marketer Should Know About 3D and AR

3. Format of Your Press Release

If you are going to do a print press release you need to format it to make sure it is formatted correctly. There should be short paragraphs and the look and feel of the press release should be colorful and visually stimulating the reader.

Black and white press releases will surely end up straight in the trash can.

But you also need to consider whether a print press release is the right approach for the digital age. Press releases do still matter but the world is changing. Most press releases are now usually sent by email and so you need to think about how they look on the screen.

If you’ve got a product aimed at teenagers or the younger generation you could even put together a promotional video for the editors as this will be sure to grab their attention and could even serve as clickable content for their website or social media platforms.

If your product or service is more serious and the editors you are pitching to are more conservative it might be best to avoid a flashier format but it’s still worth putting effort into preparing your press release if it’s going to be sent by email.

4. Don’t Spam: Build Genuine Connections

Although press releases are great, many editors and journalists view them as spam. If you don’t know the journalist this is more likely to happen.

Before you send out your press release to every journalist you can’t think of, try instead to forge genuine relationships with them. Follow them on their social media platforms: most journalists are on Twitter. You can also drop them an email explaining who you are. Remember to be brief as journalists are busy people.

Find out where journalists who cover your products hang out; maybe there are conferences or events you can go to and you can strike up a conversation with them. Human-to-human contact is important.

If you have a genuine connection with a journalist or editor they are more likely to respond positively to your press release. You might reach a stage where you don’t even have to send them press releases you can just ring them up and they will listen to you.

Writing a Good Press Release Takes Times

Writing a good press release is all about building those strong connections with journalists and getting to understand what they want.

Figure out what stories they are likely to publish and tailor your press release to help and aid the journalists in any way that you can. Be sure to build up a strong personal relationship with them.

If you are interested in learning more about what it takes to write a good press release be sure to check out the rest of our site.

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