7 common mistakes that businesses make with press releases

Press Release mistakes

7 common mistakes businesses that make with press releases

  1. making a press release more than two pages long
  2. not writing a press release so that it’s news to your intended reader
  3. not having one central message or theme
  4. including too much detail
  5. not reading competitors’ press releases
  6. using a headline that makes the content sound bland and boring
  7. writing a press release that sounds like an ad not like a news story

7 common mistakes businesses make with press releases

1.- making a press release more than two pages long

Your customers, your dealers, newspaper editors, all the people you want to read your press releases have busy jobs – they simply don’t have the time to read long press releases. If they see one that’s more than two pages long they won’t even start reading it. Better still try and get your message across in a single page

2 – not writing a press release so that it’s news to your intended reader

It’s not enough to have a message to tell the reader – you have to make it so that your headline and the body of the release are intriguing enough to read. When people take time to read the news in your press release they are exchanging their time and effort for your message. If a press release doesn’t make the curious or doesn’t seem relevant to them that exchange won’t happen.

3 – not having one central message or theme

To be effective press releases need to be like news stories, after reading one you want the reader to have learned the point of the story (i.e. your marketing message). If the release contains too many products, too many messages at the same time or doesn’t appear to have a point, then the reader simply won’t know what you are really trying to say.

4 – including too much detail

Press releases are there to create interest in new products, new services, or give company news. They are there to trigger further action not to complete the sales process. Including too much detail such as every single piece of the product specification will make the press release too long and mean that the key spec you wish to highlight get lost amongst a page of numbers. Include only what makes the product unique and a few other pieces of information that will influence the buying decision. Then give readers a link to the product website where they can get rest of the specification or alternatively follow the example of Nikon and attach spec sheets to press releases for high-tech products.

5 – not reading competitors’ press releases

If competitors have already issued press releases about their similar products read their press releases before writing yours. This allows you to ensure you can make your product and press release sound different. The last thing you need is a release that appears to be a clone of your competitors – it probably won’t get read, it certainly won’t get media coverage, and it defiantly won’t get remembered.

6 – using a headline that makes the content sound bland and boring

If your headline makes the press release sound uninteresting, no one is going to read it because no one is going to look passed the headline – your press release is going to be totally ineffective. Spend time to create a headline that’s relevant to your readers and interesting enough for them to want to read more.

7 – writing a press release that sounds like an ad not like a news story

Press releases are written in the journalistic style for a good reason – if you write a press release like an advert readers and editors become sceptical, and it will get ignored, just like an advertisement. But at the same time avoid writing like an article in a company newsletter because it will make the news…your message sound boring. The aim of the press release is to sound like an enthusiastic journalist with exciting news so that your release is read and trusted.

Conclusion

Every week we produce press releases for high-technology customers, which means we get to read hundreds of press releases from their competitors… most of the press releases we see make the same mistakes, most of the press releases we see don’t get read by their intended audience. This is a quick guide to the most common, basic mistakes, it should help you avoid them and I’m certain it will make your press releases more effective.

What’s the best way to get an effective press release? Contact our team at Convince technical copywriting – we’re experts at writing marketing documents designed to increase sales because that is all we do. View our portfolio.

Message to our valued clients – I hope that this list explains a little of the logic behind the way we write your press releases and that it explains reasons behind some of the suggestions that we make. Contact us at service@we-convice.com to arrange your next press release and thank you for using Convince.