A well-written press release has a good chance of getting published in many media and news publications. Although it’s not promised, making sure that you’re not committing mistakes in writing may provide you a good media opportunity.
In this post, we’ll share with you the top 10 press release writing mistakes that you should avoid to increase media follow up and coverage:
Mistake # 1: Email Blasting.
Journalists know the smell of generic pitches. They already know when you sent the same pitch with the same words to other journalists.
At least make an effort to get noticed. Sending a pitch to journalists who don’t have the same beat or cover your industry is a big no-no. If you’re writing about your agricultural products, target reporters who write stories on agriculture.
Mistake # 2: No personalization.
You can only personalize your pitch if you made a research about your target journalist prior to pitching. Most journalists are impressed if you can mention their most recent work or an article they wrote that has gone viral.
It indicates how much you are engrossed with their work. It builds an automatic traction with them because they know that you made an effort.
Mistake # 3: They are self-promotional.
A pitch that looks like promoting their own brand is what most journalists don’t like. If you want to score publicity, stop writing a pitch that looks like you are selling your brand to them.
Keep in mind that you’re not selling your brand or products here. Provide a neutral, objective voice and not subjective. Avoid the use of promotional language, such as “we’re the best,” “we’re the only one in the industry,” or “we offer the best solutions to your problem.”
Mistake # 4: The pitch is long.
Journalists don’t have plenty of time to read all the pitches they receive. As a consideration, you should know that they appreciate pitches written in a short and concise manner.
Don’t expect them to spend time reading your two-page press release. Be considerate with their work and time. Offer bullet points to highlight what your story is all about.
Make sure that the what, why, where, when and how are answered in the first paragraph. Don’t expect that they would go through your release to look for the details.
Mistake # 5: Wrong grammar, spelling and punctuations.
Your press release should be written in a formal but simple language that is easy to understand. It shouldn’t be stuffed with grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes.
If you think that you are not confident with your release, have someone edit or check it for you. You may also use online tools that check the grammars and spelling of your content.
There are also distribution sites that provide press release writing service. This should lessen the stress when writing your announcement.
Mistake # 6: No relevant quotes.
Quotes are included in a release for a reason. They are effective tools to provide the media and potential customers of your brand’s identity, encourage action and suggest emotions.
Don’t just stuff your release with quotes that aren’t connected to the story, or just to lengthen the number of words in your release. They should align with the brand’s values and show their authenticity. It shouldn’t sound boring and unnatural.
Mistake # 7: No media contact.
One of the common mistakes in writing releases is no media contact indicated. Don’t make it hard for them to look for the person to contact when they are interested to follow up or want to get information from you.
The media contact details should be seen in the top portion of the first page. Make sure that the person is available and can be contacted directly through their contact number and email address.
Mistake # 8: A bad headline and subject line.
When pitching, journalists often based their decision to give publicity on the headline and subject line. Both these two elements should impress them in a matter of seconds.
Read your headline loud. Is it newsworthy and relevant? Do you think the journalists would care to read your story? The subject line should give them an idea what your release is all about. Make it short and complete in thoughts.
Mistake # 9: Not enough information.
A well written release includes all the facts of their story. Don’t expect that journalists would look for them to cover your release.
The first paragraph should be a summary of the entire release. Provide the details and facts that journalists expect.
Mistake # 10: Placing too many keywords.
PR professionals and marketers can no longer benefit from stuffing the release with keywords. Gone are the days when marketers achieve high ranks in the search engines with too many keywords. A good release should have keywords placed in the headline or subheadline, on the first 100 words of the release, image and anchor text links.
Try to avoid these 10 mistakes when writing a release to improve the possibility of getting media coverage. Reporters are very particular with the way you pitch and write the press release. Make sure that you follow the best practices in writing your story or you can check more tips here newswire.com/features/writing