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10 Common Mistakes People Make When Writing Press Releases

If you’re responsible for writing press releases, you know how important it is to get them right. After all, a press release is often the first impression potential customers and journalists have of your company.

Unfortunately, there are many ways to make mistakes when writing a press release. To help you avoid common pitfalls, we’ve put together a list of 10 mistakes people make when writing press releases. Read on to learn more.

The Importance of Press Releases 

newspapers showing the printed words Press Release

A press release is a document that contains information about a company or individual’s recent newsworthy event. They are typically sent to journalists to secure media coverage.

Press releases can effectively promote a business or generate buzz around a new product launch. However, they must be well-written and formatted correctly to be effective.

Why Do You Need to Create a Press Release?

Press releases serve two primary purposes: to promote your company or product and to generate media coverage.

1. To Promore Products/Services

sketch of a megaphone in chalkboard showing promotion

A press release can be a great way to promote your product or service. By creating a document that contains all the relevant information about your product or service, you can give potential customers everything they need to know in one place.

This can be particularly effective if you’re launching a new product or service, as it will help generate interest and create a buzz around your offering.

If you want to get the best press release service, you should look for a provider that offers a wide range of services, including press release writing, distribution, and more. Don’t settle for a service that doesn’t offer everything you need to get the most out of your press release.

2. To Generate Media Coverage

media camera covering news report with reporters behind

Another critical purpose of press releases is to generate media coverage. By sending your press release to journalists and other media members, you’re increasing the chances that your company or product will be featured in news stories, blogs, or other forms of media.

This can be a great way to raise awareness of your brand and get people talking about what you’re doing.

3. To Improve Search Engine Rankings

hand stacking wood block steps on the table

In addition to generating media coverage, press releases can help improve your search engine rankings. This is because press releases often contain keywords and other search-friendly elements that can help your website rank higher in search engine results pages.

This can be a great way to get more traffic to your website and increase your visibility online.

4. To Establish Thought Leadership

brown paper planes leading a group of other paper planes showing the concept of leadership

A press release can also be a powerful tool for establishing thought leadership. By sharing your expert knowledge and insights on a particular topic, you can position yourself and your company as a leading authority in your industry.

This can be a great way to build trust and credibility with potential customers and other stakeholders.

5. To Increase Brand Awareness

highlighted words brand awareness

Finally, press releases can also be used to increase brand awareness. You can make a lasting impression and build name recognition by getting your company’s name and logo in front of potential customers.

This can be a great way to differentiate your business from the competition and make people more likely to remember your brand when they’re ready to purchase.

10 Common Mistakes People Make When Writing Press Releases

garbage bin and crumpled papers representing mistakes and errors

Although press release has promising effects, many people still make avoidable mistakes when writing them. Here are 10 of the most common mistakes:

1. Not Having a Clear Purpose

purpose road sign

One of the most common mistakes people make when writing press releases is not having a clear purpose. Without a clear purpose, it can be challenging to determine what information to include in your press release and how to format it.

Before you start writing, take some time to think about what you want to accomplish with your press release.

  • Do you want to promote a new product or service?
  • Generate media coverage?
  • Improve your search engine rankings?

Once you know your purpose, you can start crafting your press release.

2. Failing to Write for Your Target Audience

hand illustrating target audience concept

Another common mistake people make when writing press releases is failing to write for their target audience. A press release is not an advertisement, so it’s important to avoid using marketing language or making claims that are difficult to back up.

Instead, focus on providing accurate and objective information about your company or product. This will help ensure that your press release is relevant and interesting to your target audience.

3. Not Knowing Your Distribution Channels

boxes distributed through distribution channels

A common mistake people make when writing press releases is not knowing their distribution channels.

Your press release will only be effective if the right people see it, so it’s essential to have a plan for getting it in front of your target audience.

  • Will you be sending it to journalists?
  • Posting it on your website?
  • Sharing it on social media?

Knowing your distribution channels will help you determine what information to include in your press release and how to format it.

4. Not Creating a Compelling Headline

Headlines shown off in typewriter

A fourth mistake people make when writing press releases is not creating a compelling headline. Your headline is the first thing people will see, so it’s essential to make it catchy and attention-grabbing. Avoid jargon or marketing language, and focus on making your headline clear and concise.

5. Failing to Include Key Information

magnifying glass showing information

A fifth mistake people make when writing press releases is failing to include essential information. Your press release should include all the essential information someone would need to know about your company or product. This includes your contact information, a brief description of what you’re promoting, and any notable achievements or accolades.

6. Making It Too Long

too long, didn't read

A sixth mistake people make when writing press releases is making them too long. Your press release should be concise and to the point, so avoid including unnecessary information or repeating yourself. Aim for one to two pages, and be sure to edit your press release for grammar and clarity before you send it out.

7. Not Including a Call to Action

ignore button

A seventh mistake people make when writing press releases is not including a call to action. Your press release should include a clear and concise call to action, such as “For more information, please contact XYZ Company at 555-555-1234.” Your press release may be ignored or forgotten without a call to action.

8. Not Distributing Your Press Release

hands holding the sign of paper airplane on green studio background

An eighth mistake people make when writing press releases is not distributing them. Once you’ve written and edited your press release, it’s essential to send it out to your distribution channels. If you’re sending it to journalists, follow up and ensure they received it. If you’re posting it on your website or social media, promote it so people will see it.

9. Not Updating Your Press Release

time to update with hourglass

A ninth mistake people make when writing press releases is not updating them. Your press release should be kept up-to-date with the latest information about your company or product. If you make any changes or have any new developments, be sure to update your press release and send it out again.

10. Improper Formatting

press release typed on typewriter

A final mistake people make when writing press releases is improper formatting. Your press release should be formatted in a way that is easy to read and understand. This includes using short paragraphs and bullet points and having all the pertinent information someone would need to know about what you’re trying to promote.

How to Format a Press Release

press release concept

If you want to achieve all the benefits of a press release, it’s essential to format your document correctly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Keep It Short and Sweet

Keep it short -written on a chalkboard with coffee and chalk

The first rule of thumb when formatting a press release is to keep it short and sweet. Journalists and other media members are busy people, so they don’t have time to read through long, convoluted press releases.

Aim for a length of one to two pages, and make sure to get straight to the point. Include only the most relevant information, and leave out any extraneous details.

Example:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

John Doe

Company XYZ

123-456-7890

johndoe@companyxyz.com

XYZ Company Launches New Product Line

New products provide customers with ABC benefits

123 Main Street, Anytown, USA – XYZ Company is excited to announce the launch of its new product line. The latest products provide customers with ABC benefits and are now available for purchase online and in select stores.

XYZ Company is a leading provider of XYZ products and services. Founded in 19xx, the company has a long history of providing quality products and services to its customers.

For more information, please visit www.companyxyz.com or contact John Doe at 123-456-7890 or johndoe@companyxyz.com.

2. Use a Professional Tone

professional defined in a book with magnifying glass

When writing a press release, it’s essential to use a professional tone. This doesn’t mean you need to use overly formal language, but you should avoid using slang or jargon.

Stick to clear and concise language, and make sure your press release is free of errors. This will help ensure that it’s taken seriously by the media.

3. Use an Inverted Pyramid Structure

inverted pyramid

When it comes to the actual structure of your press release, it’s a good idea to use an inverted pyramid. This means you should start with the most critical information at the top and then follow with less important details as you move down the page.

This will ensure that readers see the most critical information even if they only read the first few paragraphs.

Example:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[Company Name Announces New Product]

Product XYZ is the latest innovation from Company Name, which will revolutionize the XYZ industry.

(Continue with less critical information)

In the press release above, the most important information is at the top (i.e., the product launch). The less critical details are towards the bottom (i.e., the date and location of the event).

4. Use Proper Formatting

write in a typewriter

Regarding formatting your press release, you should keep a few things in mind.

First and foremost, your press release should be easy to read. This means using short paragraphs and plain language. Avoid jargon or overly technical language. Second, make sure to include links to additional information. If you have a website or an online press kit, include the URLs. Third, use standard fonts and font sizes. This will make your press release easy to read on all devices (including mobile phones).

How to Properly Format Your Press Release?

1. Headline – The headline should be clear and concise, easy to understand at a glance.

2. Subheadline – Use a subheadline to elaborate on the headline or provide more information.

3. Dateline and Lead Paragraph – The dateline should include the city and state of the issuing news organization followed by the date. The lead paragraph should summarize the most critical information in the press release.

4. Body – The body of the press release should provide more detail about the story. It should be written in the third-person point of view and should not exceed two pages.

5. Boilerplate – The boilerplate is a short paragraph that provides background information about the issuing organization.

6. Closing Paragraph – The closing paragraph should include contact information, such as the person’s name, phone number, and email address, who can answer questions about the press release.

7. Contact Information – Include the name, title, phone number, and email address of the primary contact for the press release.

5. Use Subheads to Breaking Up Text

Subheadings

Another formatting tip is to use subheads to break up your text. This will make your press release more visually appealing and easy to scan.

Subheads also help to highlight the most critical information in your press release. So, if someone only has time to read the first few paragraphs, they’ll still get the main points.

Example:

XYZ Company Announces New Product

Product XYZ is the latest innovation from Company Name, which will revolutionize the XYZ industry.

What sets Product XYZ apart from other products on the market?

(SUBHEAD)

Product XYZ is the only XYZ product that offers the ABC feature.

(SUBHEAD)

This makes it the perfect solution for people looking for a more efficient way to do XYZ.

As you can see in the example above, the subheads help to break up the text and make the information easier to digest. They also highlight the essential information in each section.

The Importance of SEO in Press Releases

It’s also important to keep SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind when writing your press release. This means using keywords and phrases that people are likely to search for when looking for information about your product or company.

For example, include the words “new product” in your press release if you’re launching a new product. This will help people find your press release when they’re searching online.

It’s also a good idea to include links to your website or social media pages in your press release. This will help people learn more about your company or product.

By ensuring that your press release is well-written and optimized for SEO, you’ll increase the chances that people will read it and learn about your product or company.

Do you have questions related to press releases? Are you looking for help with writing or formatting your press release? We can help! Send us an email at wowvisible@gmail.com, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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