The Most Common Press Release Errors You Should Avoid

If you’re new to writing press releases they can feel a bit overwhelming. There is a rigid structure to adhere to, and a lot of information to pack into a short piece. You only have between 400 and 800 words to share your message. And the job of a press release is heavy – you want to attract attention from the media and to grow your business. In order to compete with the thousands of other press releases being distributed on any given day, your release has to be perfect and mistake free.

Mistake #1 Writing your release in first, or second, person
Your press release isn’t a story that you’re sharing, nor is it a letter that you’re writing to a friend. There’s no room for words like “I,” “We” or “You” in a press release. A press release is more formal, and therefore it’s important to write it in third person, using “He,” “She,” “It,” “Them,” “They” and so on.

Mistake #2 Not editing your press release
Make sure that your press release has been reviewed for grammar, spelling errors and for clarity by someone other than yourself. You’ve probably been working on your press release for a while and you know every word by heart; which means you’re not objective. Have someone else look it over before you submit it.

Mistake #3 Broken URLs
Don’t assume your URLs work. Double check each and every one before you submit your release for distribution. Once it’s out there, you cannot pull it back.

Mistake #4 No real point to the release
Make sure that your press release focuses on a newsworthy topic and that the body of your press release supports your point. For example, if your headline announces the launch of a new product then the body of your press release needs to talk about the value of the product and any relevant release information.

Mistake #5 Incomplete information
Don’t forget to include answers to the 5 W’s – who, what, where, when and why. Make sure information about your business is complete and that you include all relevant contact information.

Mistake #6 Hype
Any type of formatting to call attention to words and promotional words like “free” or “limited time” are going to be considered hype by the media. This immediately discredits your press release. Keep it professional.

Mistake #7 Ineffective headline
Your headline is perhaps the most important element of your press release. Take time crafting one that grabs attention and is succinct. First impressions matter.

Press releases become easier to write with practice, and they’re well worth the effort. In addition to getting the attention of the media, it’s a powerful form of content to brand and promote your business. Take time to avoid common mistakes.

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