Tuesday January 29, 2013

Why No One Reads Your Press Releases (And How to Change That)


Press release, news release, media release—a piece of newsworthy communication directed to the media about your company. For a little over 100 years, press releases have announced new products and services, addressed issues of concern, addressed allegations, promoted discussion of booming sales, and provided industry perspectives regarding trends, data, and statistics. It was and still is an important form of communication used to attract the attention of the media to “juicy” pieces of company information. Unfortunately, claiming this publicity is not as easy as it sounds.

As a small business, it might be the case that you have great things to say and wonderful items to release to the media, but when you make your announcement, there is no one that notices. It’s a common challenge—press release after press release with no publicity, no increased sales, no celebrations of achievement. It can feel like pitching news to a house cat.

In this scenario, there are a few tips that will fine-tune a press release into an effective piece of marketing. Suffice to say, conciseness is the key. 

1) Headlines that are entirely too long, are unclear in their description, lack attraction, include company names that are so lengthy that they text-wrap in a tweet, or include so much information that the headline begins to resemble a statement within a paragraph, should be avoided at all costs.

2) Make the relevant information noticeable.

Okay, so you’ve made a splash using a headline that zings and zags and grabs the attention of the media. You should NOT proceed to place the details of the headline, the feature of your work, the purpose of this release in paragraph three. Don’t delay the main course of this one-dish meal.

3) Your press release shouldn’t be a novella.

Professionals in the media don’t have time to read every thought about a new product. They don’t have time to digest all of the uplifting news about two companies merging and ever since the start of their relationship 5 years ago, they’ve experienced so much growth together and withstood countless tribulations in order to reach milestone, after milestone, after milestone, after milestone…you get the picture.

All minor or major details about the company that aren’t relevant to the topic at hand can be provided via links. Links are good, as they provide a gateway to more information about your company. For the rest, say what needs to be said, don’t fluff the jargon, and then make an exit. If a media source wants to use your story and needs more information, you will be contacted for more information.

4) Avoid excessive promotion.

There might be a misconception that a press release is an advertisement. It is not. Do not tie your emotional investment of the news into your writing, otherwise it can become a review of a product with so many descriptors that the media will think the press release was written for consumers.

5) Let the experts give you a grade.     

After giving these tips a shot, why not let someone scrutinize your work? PRWeb offers a tool that analyzes four components of your press release: content, multimedia (images and video), keywords, and links. The process is simple and it’s free. Before you publish your next press release, check out the tool at https://us.vocuspr.com/PR/ReleaseGrader/.

Benjamin Bullock
Simple Machines Marketing

Written by Benjamin Bullock | Tags: press releases

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