Writing a press release can be nerve-wracking. Even with the numerous free samples and templates available online, drafting a good press release takes practice and a few Must-Do’s.
Some common mistakes (which I have done myself) in writing a decent release can be headed off the pass by following some basic guidelines:
A press release should be from the company, about the company, and by the company. In other words, when Coca Cola announces a new flavor or mixture, The Coca Cola Corporation should be releasing that information, not Joe Schmoe’s General Store on Main Street.
Do This: Joe Schmoe’s Now Carries Coke’s Bubble Gum Soda
Not This: Coke Introduces Bubble Gum Soda
Huge sweeping claims such as, “Acme Corporation has the ‘greatest’ marketing team ever assembled,” is a (biased) opinion, not news.
Do This: Acme Corporation Was Voted ‘Best Marketing Firm for the Fitness Industry’ by The League of Fitness Experts
Not This: Acme Corp. Has the Greatest Marketing Team Ever Assembled
Refrain from addressing readers as “you” or the company as “we.” Press releases should be written objectively in third person — as if you were reading a write-up by a journalist or reporter — not as if you are directly were talking directly to your audience. Do not be conversational.
Do This: Ellie’s Boutique, specializing in chic-wear for the professional woman debuts its Fall line.
Not This: Do you love high fashion? Come to the fashion show sponsored by Ellie’s Boutique.
Press releases announce news. Many people make the common mistake of releasing something they already do or have, or that is truly not news. Think of it as a legitimate news story: is it something worth printing in the newspaper?
Do This: Grand Opening! Fab Hair Salon Offers a Free Color Treatment to the First 5 Clients Walk-Ins
Not This: Fab Hair Salon Provides Color Treatments
A press release headline should reflect the news of the release. The headline and summary should capture the reader’s attention and entice them to keep reading. Include SEO keywords in the title, but don’t bog it down with too many keywords.
Do This: Michelle My Belle Creates Make-Up Artistry for the Autumn Season
Not This: Michelle My Belle, Inspiring Make-Up Artist
These days links is important. However, make sure that you don’t stuff your press release with too many links and anchors so that your announcement looks spammy. A good rule of thumb is no more than 1 URL for every 150 words of text.
The Press Release should be tasteful and objective.
Press releases are not meant to air grievances against a competitor, organization or individual. Do not make accusations or slander third parties – ever!