Most people know that a press release is a great way to gain media attention. Unfortunately few people fully understand the do’s and don’ts of press release writing.
Before you waste your time on writing a release that is not going to help your business, please keep in mind these things that are to be avoided:
Using a press release as an advertisement- Press releases are to inform the media of newsworthy happenings. Journalists are not consumers sitting around waiting for the newest product to hit the market. Their job is to inform their audience, not to sell to them.
Beating around the bush - When you begin to write your press release don’t include irrelevant information. Use short, simple sentences that get to the point. Also keep in mind that no one wants to read a 3 page press release. Most press releases should be between 400-600 words.
Using the wrong format- Always use the proper press release format. This includes using a heading, not typing in all capital letters, and ending the press release with your contact information.
Calling after you submit a release – Never call a media outlet and ask if they have received your release. It’s unprofessional and it’s very likely that your question will annoy the person on the other end of the phone.
Using a boring headline – Often your headline will decide whether the editor reads the press release or not. When writing your headline, stick to this format: “Someone doing Something for a Reason".
Grammatical errors- It might not seem like a big deal but any seasoned journalist will be offended by blaring grammatical errors. Please have someone proofread your release before you submit it.
DJ Nelson can help you write an effective press release. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter “The Write Business Strategies" and learn how to drive sales to your product or service by using effective Marketing Communication (Marcom) strategies. Visit her site at http://www.Donyell.com.