Press releases are a key tool in the PR artillery, but in today’s fast paced society where journalists, editors and bloggers are super busy it’s even more important that they are concise and carefully targeted. If not they’ll end up unopened or in the bin.
To help you steer clear of this happening, see my top five common mistakes to avoid.
- Targeting the wrong media – one size doesn’t fit all so sending a press release about a restaurant opening to a Pet publication is a waste of time. Do your research and look for relevant publications and journalists with an interest in your area of work.
- Spelling mistakes – we’ve all experienced this, be it that we’ve hit send too quickly or we’ve received a badly written email. We’re human and can make mistakes but be careful to double check your release or pass it on to a colleague for fresh eyes to review.
- No new news – sending a release just for the sake of it is a big no no. There is no point in sending information if it isn’t newsworthy. Journalists want news worthy information, if you have nothing new to say don’t bother sending it – it will end up in the bin.
- Jargon and long convoluted headlines and info – The idea of writing a press release is to highlight the key news items and convey it in a clear and concise way – so to include jargon defies the purpose. Remember to make it clear and make sense. Don’t forget to spell out acronyms as those working in the field maybe aware but no one else is.
- No follow up – In an ideal world you can hit send and wait for all the journalists to come to you, but realistically they’re busy people so giving them a call is still valuable. Timing is key here however you don’t want to call when they’re going to press so check with them that it’s a good time to talk and keep it brief and to the point.
Hope it helps!