Common Press Release Writing Traps and How to Avoid Them

Writing press releases can be tricky. Even seasoned writers often struggle with the format and function of a press release. Understanding the common press release writing traps can help you avoid them and have a more successful press release campaign.

You Don’t Know Your Audience

One of the largest press release writing traps that people fall into is the lack of an audience. The press release audience can be different than your general business audience. For example, your press release audience might be the media or bloggers. It’s vitally important that you know who you’re writing to.
It’s the only way that you can create an effective lede and message. It’s the only way to achieve the goals you’ve set forth for your press release. Spend time researching and identifying your audience. What are their problems? What’s important to them and how does the information in your press release improve their lives or solve their problems? How does it offer a benefit?

You Don’t Have a Goal

A press release needs a goal. What action do you want readers to take when they’ve read your release? Goals can vary from wanting the media to contact you, to wanting readers to subscribe to your email list or to buy a product. Identify the goal for your release and write content that supports that goal.
For example, if your goal is to build your email list then you want to make sure that the content supports your opt-in offer and appeals directly to new audience members who may not have heard of your business yet (but are in the market for your products, services, or information).

No Value

A press release has to offer value to the reader. It has to inform, entertain, educate or provide some degree of benefit to your audience. Often times, a writer gets a laundry list of information including the who, what, where, when and why. Then that’s all the information that is included in the release. Instead of the press release being a piece of beneficial content, it reads more like an announcement. That doesn’t help your reader and it doesn’t help your business.

A Sales Page

The final most common press release writing trap that people often fall into is to approach the release like it’s an advertisement. It’s not, and making that mistake can be costly. You can lose the trust of your audience and the media. You certainly can promote your product, service or information in a press release but don’t fill it with salesy words or “buy now” links. First and foremost, tell your readers why your information matters to them, then provide them with an opportunity to take the next step.

Writing press releases takes practice. Careful attention to your audience, goals and results will help you overcome most common press release writing traps. Practice and knowledge will take care of the rest.

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