The purpose of a press release is to show your company in a positive light – whether you’re announcing the benefits of a great new product, or clearing up misconceptions or false allegations by a competitor. The last thing you want to do is write a press release that does the opposite. Here are 7 common mistakes that people make when writing a press release:
1. Writing an ineffective subject line. You want to create a subject line that will entice the recipient to open the e-mail. A good way to determine what NOT to write is to look at messages in your Trash folder that you never opened. What is it about the subject lines that caused you to skip over this e-mail? Be creative with your subject line and stick to the point.
2. Not doing all your research. Rather than blindly jumping into writing your press release, read other press releases from other successful companies in your industry. Take note of layout, content, and phrasing.
3. Talking down to your audience. No one likes to feel stupid. While it’s important to write clearly and state your message in a way most people can understand, you have to assume your readers are adults of at least of average intelligence, not 5 year olds.
4. Over-writing the release. Your press release should be informative, and to the point. You don’t need to add a bunch of irrelevant information to up your word count.
5. Over-selling your product or service. Avoid writing the release to sound like an ad. Don’t assume your reader is a buyer, but instead think of him or her as someone else in the industry who needs to know more about your product.
6. Assuming your readers are already familiar with your company. Be specific when explaining your product or service, and make sure to include all necessary details. However, be careful not to make mistake #3. Don’t explain in such a way to make your audience feel stupid.
7. Jumping the gun when sending your release. Don’t send your release until you have all the facts, details, and correct information. You are better off delaying the release than to send it with missing or possibly incorrect information.
In addition to avoiding these common mistakes, its always a good idea to check spelling and grammar of your press release. You should also read it over a few times to make sure the words flow smoothly and the information is correct. An effective press release will assure that not only the correct information will get out there, but that people will likely read your press releases instead of deleting them.