Are You Making These Press Release Mistakes?
You've done it. Gotten that press release written. Now you're ready to send it out to your carefully chosen list of media contacts.
But before you hit that “send” button, take a moment and run your press release through this checklist. Remember, you only have a few seconds to catch the attention of busy journalists and editors -- don't blow it over an easily corrected mistake.
Some of these may seem painfully obvious. Alas, even the obvious gets overlooked from time to time (even from professionals – I know, I've made my share of mistakes) so it's always a wise idea to take a few moments to double check that your release is up to snuff before sending it out into the world.
1. Is your release newsworthy? In other words, does it answer the question "Will this interest my readers?" Remember, media people are interested in one thing – keeping their readers happy. Make sure your idea is something that will do just that.
2. Is the headline compelling? Will it encourage media people to actually read the story? If the headline doesn't interest them, chances are they aren't going to take the time to read the rest of the release. And you've just missed your opportunity.
3. Is the first sentence (the lead) compelling? Like the headline, if the first sentence doesn't grab their attention and persuade them to keep reading, chances are your release will be headed to that famous circular file. (Otherwise known as the trash can.)
4. Is it written in third person? In other words, use "he/she/they." No "you" or "we."
5. Is it less than a page? Media people don't have time to read long press releases. Unless you have a darn good reason, keep it less than a page. For that matter, even if you do have a darn good reason, still keep it less than a page.
6. Are there grammatical or spelling errors in your release? Trust me, these are professionals. They'll catch your errors. And those errors won't leave a very good impression. At the very least use your word processing's spell checker, but hiring a proofreader is an even better solution. Or you could simply have someone you trust read it. But definitely do something.
7. Do you have your contact information on the release? Media people are on deadline. They don’t have time to search for your contact info if they need clarification or a quote from you. Make it easy for them – put your contact info in a prominent place.
8. Do you have any sales copy in there? Reminder: Press releases don't go to the advertising department – they're for editorial. And editorial doesn't look very kindly on sales pitches. Nix the promotional copy and just focus on content – if they use your story, they'll put your contact info in there.
While there are no guarantees with publicity, making sure your release follows this checklist will go a long way to garnering you publicity.
Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! Marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services and boosting their business. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at www.MichelePW.com. Copyright © 2017 MichelePW all rights reserved.
Considered one of the hottest direct response copywriters and marketing consultants in the industry today, Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) has a reputation for crafting copy and creating online and offline marketing campaigns that get results.
Michele started writing professionally in 1992, working at agencies and on staff as a marketing/communication/writing specialist. In 1998, she started her business as a freelance copywriter.
But she quickly realized her vision was bigger than serving her clients as a one-woman-shop. In 2004, she began the transformation to building a copywriting and marketing company.
Two years later, her vision has turned into reality. Michele PW/Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC is the premiere direct response copywriting and marketing company today, catering to entrepreneurs and small business owners internationally, including the “Who’s Who” of Internet Marketing. Some of their clients include:
Alexis Martin Neely
In addition, Michele is also a national speaker and the bestselling author of the “Love-Based Copywriting" books that teach people how to write copy that attracts, inspires and invites. She has also completed two novels.
She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and her southern squirrel hunter Cassie.