Press release mistakes you don’t realise you’re making

Are you the type of person who prefers to take on tasks by yourself? Sometimes it’s so easy to ping off an email using a press release template you’ve found online, with a few key facts chucked in. But you might be making mistakes without realising it, which are costing you the best possible outcome from your press release.

Here are some mistakes you might be making and what to avoid:

  1. Writing in the first person
    Press releases should always be written in the third person.
  2. Writing too few words
    While you should avoid overloading the reader with words, not writing enough could lead them to believe that the story is a lot less interesting than it is or that there isn’t enough of a news angle for them to publish the story.
  3. Not including a picture
    Pictures and words go hand-in-hand with each other and there should always be a picture to accompany the press release – even if it is just a headshot of the person who is quoted (but always stick to landscape!).
  4. Sending it too late
    Depending on whether or not your story is time sensitive, you could be missing out on it being printed altogether if you’re not quick sending it out. Journalists tend to report something as soon after it has happened as possible, so leaving it too late could result in your email being sent to trash
  5. Using jargon
    You should always assume that the reader has a high level of intelligence, but a low level of subject knowledge. Use layman’s terminology wherever possible.
  6. Overcomplicating it
    There is no need to utilise gargantuan idioms in order to fabricate intelligence. In other words, don’t use big words for the sake of it – it makes you sound like you’re trying too hard.
  7. A long build up
    The longer your reader has to wait to figure out the main point of the story, the less impressed they are going to be when they reach it. Always include the main point in the first sentence (think “what is the first thing I would tell my mates?”)
  8. Not including a quote
    Including a pre-thought-out quote means you can write exactly what you want to say, with as much pre-planning as you want. If you don’t include one, you could risk having a mind blank if a reporter calls you to try and get one and end up missing out key bits of information you wanted to include.