4 Failproof Ways to Get Your Press Release Rejected

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Press release distribution companies are getting pickier and pickier about what they will approve in terms of press release topics and verbiage. They want to ensure that they’re publishing quality content, relevant news and no spam.

To that end, you may see your distribution service reject your press release initially, or ask you to make some changes to meet guidelines. Here’s what not to do if you want to knock out your release in the first try.

1. Ignore Those Guidelines

Hey, if you never saw the guidelines, you can claim ignorance, right? Wrong.

Your safest way to stay out of the press release dog house is to know what you’re required to do in your press releases for a given distribution service.

As an example, PRWeb lists its editorial guidelines here. They’re pretty reasonable, so you shouldn’t have trouble following them.

2. Use the Word “Free” Heavily

Avoid Spam - Press Release Distribution

Distribution services have software that scans each release submitted and looks for certain trigger spam words. Hey, if you want to have to rewrite it, go ahead and use the biggest spam word: “free.”

It can be a challenge not to use it if you’re announcing a book called Free Willy or a free giveaway you want to share. You can always push back with the editorial team if you can justify your use of the word. My trick is to use words like “complimentary” or “no cost” to avoid triggering the spam filters when I submit releases. You still don’t want to overuse those words, though.

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3. Overuse Links

You figure, the more links, the merrier. In fact, the opposite is true with press releases.

Your press release isn’t designed to be chock full of links to other sites. It should have enough links to support the content, without going overboard. PRWeb allows one link per 100 words. Most releases are 300-800 words, so be sure you pay attention to how many links you’re putting in.

4. Write the Vaguest Title Possible

Avoid Vagueries - Press Release Distribution

You think vagueness adds an air of mystery to your press release. But the editor will put a big fat “veto” on your submission, I guarantee.

Your press release headline needs to be specific in describing the news found in the press release. It should contain the name of the company or person involved, and summarize the news. Your release will be rejected if the subject of the news isn’t mentioned.

Paying attention to the grammar (spellcheck is a great tool), making sure your release is newsworthy and following other guidelines can help you streamline your press release submission and get it published faster.

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Image: Sean MacEntee, epSos .de, David Kosmos Smith (Creative Commons)

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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