November 05, 2015
/ by Susan Guillory
Annoyed that nobody read your press release and that journalists don’t give a hoot? Before you start pointing the finger at everyone else, circle it back to you. I get it. Writing press releases is hard, or at least writing good ones that stand out is. These mistakes are common and probably cover most of what you’re doing wrong with your press release.
“Smith Co Announces New Partnership With Medical Company.”
Do you want to read that? No? So why do you write like that? While news needs to be objective, it doesn’t need to be boring. Don’t be afraid to get creative in your press release. Play with your language. Find a better way to announce something (the purpose of a press release is to announce something, so saying you announce blah blah is really redundant).
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If, when your press release went live, you sat back and waited for the clicks to your site to come in, you’ve got misaligned expectations. People aren’t desperately scouring the Web looking for your news. You need to nudge them towards it. That’s why you need to share every press release you publish far and wide. On social media. On your news page. Via email. The more people you share it with, the more people will click it, read about your news, then click to your site.
I don’t understand why people write such snooze-inducing quotes for press releases. If the quote doesn’t enhance the rest of the release, it’s worthless. Here are a few quote crimes you should avoid being guilty of:
I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent here, but below is an example of a press quote that says nothing at all:
“Blah Blah is proud to contribute to the success of the inaugural Who Cares conference” said Someone. “This important conference is an excellent opportunity for some industry leaders to share the latest advancements and best practices of our industry.”
What? This quote adds no value, and to boot, I can’t even recap it to tell you what it means. It’s filler, folks. Avoid it.
Just like blog posts tend to get read more when they’re about 400-600 words, press releases, too, attract more readers when they’re about the same length, if not shorter. Your news isn’t a three-page article. If you can’t say it in 400 or fewer words, cut it down. Boil down the important stuff to a few bullet points. Break up the content into shorter paragraphs. Leave people wanting more.
Work on the content in your press releases, and you’ll see more interest. Keep your reader in mind and never, ever try to put him to sleep.
Images: amboo who?, JOPHIELsmiles, reynermedia (Creative Commons)
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