Earlier this month, I wrote about the key success factors for how to write a press release that gets noticed. Simply applying these factors, however, doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your press release will get picked up. Even if you have done all the right things, there are other elements that can cause your press release to be ignored. And, as a result, your important information doesn’t get shared.
What Could Go Wrong?Reporters and editors are inundated with press releases every day. They have to pick and choose carefully what may or may not be newsworthy. If your press release doesn’t have the right stuff, it can potentially be tossed in the proverbial circular file. Capturing the attention of journalists—in a positive way—is the key.
Here are the top three reasons that your press release may not get picked up:
Press Release Saboteur #1: It’s not newsIs it really news or just important to you? Brainstorm with your team about new story angles to make your announcement meaningful to reporters. Ways to make sure this happens is to address conflict and controversy (conflict is always newsworthy), appeal to the emotion of readers, or include interesting information about a newsworthy famous person.
Press Release Saboteur # 2: It’s poorly written or not “worth reading”Come up with a catchy headline and run it by several people who have the same profile as your desired readers. Remember that reporters look at thousands of releases and yours has to stop them in their tracks. Also, take the time to check your grammar, spelling etc. Typos and lazy writing does not go over well with journalists.
Press Release Saboteur #3: You aren’t being strategicYour press release has to be timely. You don’t want to release your news in the middle of a huge news day when reporters are focused on a national crisis or other such story. Also, no one cares about old news. Stay fresh. And while you’re at it, include a personal element in your press release. Make it relevant and real to your audience. This includes the journalists who can make or break your opportunity to be heard.
While there are never guarantees to making sure your press release will get the attention you desire, one thing is for certain: If you don’t follow the proper dos and don’ts on how to write a press release, you are dooming yourself from the start. But, if you try the suggestions listed here and in my previous blog post, you will be setting yourself up for better success.