As one of the Internet’s largest news release distribution services, we have seen some of the best press releases on the Web. We’ve also seen some of the worst. Since your news release is competing with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of other companies and organizations that are all vying for a reader’s attention, it’s best to make sure that your release is strong and free of mistakes. Remember, you won’t get a second chance to correct the negative impressions left by a poorly written release.
Here are some of the top mistakes we see in press releases:
Use of ALL CAPS – Using ALL CAPS to create emphasis and draw attention to keywords and phrases is not well used in news releases. Your press release should be written professionally and utilize proper grammatical and spelling guidelines. Let the facts and the information in your press release do the talking to excite and interest readers.
Grammatical Errors – It’s very important to proofread, edit, and proofread again so that when you submit your release you are confident that it is well-written, correctly formatted and error-free.
Lack of Content: While short is sweet, when it comes to news releases, content is king. It’s a good idea to keep things concise but not at the expense of the important details that will define your news. PRWeb recommends writing your press release between 300 and 800 words. Be sure to answer all of the “W” questions (who, what, where, when, why and how) to ensure a complete release.
Advertisements: While news releases are promotional, they definitely are not advertisements. A good news release informs in an objective voice. An advertisement tries to sell. If your news release screams “BUY ME!” then you should consider reworking it.
Hype Flags: Hype flags include an abundance of exclamation points, wild product and service claims and overabundant use of words like “best,” “FREE,” and “amazing.” Not only do you risk tripping spam filters by including these hype flags in your release, you also risk turning off readers who are looking for facts, not hype.
Direct Address: Many press release writers desire to bring the reader in by using a lot of direct address and making statements directly to the reader using words like “you,” “your” and “we.” Direct address can be a flag that a release is actually an advertisement. In addition, you lose the chance to use important keywords and phrases instead of direct address. Use a term that defines your audience such as “marketers” or “accountants” rather than “you.”