The press release is here to stay, no matter how your friendly neighbourhood social media site becomes – there will always be a need for a press release.
What is a Press Release?
A press release helps to present facts, they are written for journalists in the hope its content gets published. They are an opportunity for brands, businesses and arts organisations to reach their target audience through the media. They aim to tell the world about your interesting stories, anything from a product launch to a new appointment or award.
Although the press release is seen as less important with the explosion of social media and the world embracing more digital solutions that force the media landscape to continue in its transformation. A press release is still a very effective tool to help generate media coverage.
Between our two media properties PR In Canada and Profectio we receive hundreds of press releases seven days a week (yes, seven). Here are a few common mistakes made on the press release:
You’re not providing enough information
Do not assume that a journalist will know everything about you or company, so should make sure you include all the facts. Try to add a summary in your first paragraph, including where your organization is based, the company name and the angle of the story. You wouldn’t believe the amount of times we have had to look up where a company is based on Google, just so I can add it to their story. Some journalists won’t be as patient, so make sure you add all the information.
Your copy is too promotional
After you have completed your press release, sit back and read it through. Does it scream “Please buy tickets to our show!?” or have you given a nice rounded overview of what the company is about? Although press releases are promotional, they are not advertisements – they are a presentation of facts, so keep it factual and use objective copy at all times.
It’s too short
Short isn’t always sweet. Although you never want to waffle when drafting a press release, you don’t want to make the mistake of not providing enough content. More than anything, a journalist will want to get all the facts so make sure you include as much information as possible. You can still be concise and stay on track but don’t forget to include every little detail. If in doubt, consider the golden rule of Who, What, Where, When Why and How – ask yourself if you’ve answered all these questions before sending the release.