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Five Mistakes Commonly Made In Press Releases

Five Mistakes Commonly Made In Press Releases

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Writing a press release is not rocket science. You can go to a dozen different websites, pull off a press release template and fill it in.

Generally speaking, it is not the format that gets messed up, though that happens too, it is the content and the handling. Avoid these mistakes.

1. Do not send out a press release until you are ready.

If your press release is about your new contest or your new product launch, be absolutely certain that it is ready to go, has been tested and the bugs are out.

Your press release and the subsequent traffic can be an exercise in hurting your business if you send it out too soon. Plus, do not count on the notion that you can request an embargo of your news, asking that it is held for release until a certain date. The White House, the Prime Minister and others in that league can embargo news but it is generally too much trouble for anything that is not very news worthy and your release will be tossed.

2. News, not a sales pitch

Press releases are about news, not a sales pitch about your product. This is all too common a mistake among retailers. Obvious sales pitches will be overlooked. Clearly, you are trying to sell products but you need to do so in a news worthy way. Find an angle that makes it interesting. Does your product solve a problem in a new way? Is it tied to something that is already in the news or is there a link between your product and someone in the news?

3. Make the headline interesting

There are thousands of press releases flowing to media outlets every day. If your business is not General Electric, Fiat, The World Bank or you get the point, you need to make your press release stand out. What does this mean? It means, do not send out a press release titled, Baby Toys 4U is launching its new website. You might get picked up by parenting sites but maybe not.

How about, Even babies like Baby Toys 4u’s newly launched website. Now that is interesting. Why would babies like a website? It might be worth a scan to see what is going on. Now of course there needs to be content to back up the claim. Maybe part of the announcement says Watch our videoed test showing eight out of ten one year olds, when shown the new site, immediately tried to catch the bouncing balls on screen and laughed with the giggling kitten host.

Then goes on to say that parents will appreciate that we have now categorized all toys by age-appropriateness and provided guides on how to use our toys to stimulate early childhood development.

4. No grammatical or spelling mistakes!

There is nothing that makes you and your press release look less professional than grammatical and spelling errors. Remember when you asked your fourth grade teacher how to spell phenomenon and said, D-I-C-T-I-O-N-A-R-Y? It is still good advice. In this day of email and Twitter, proper use of language has taken a nose dive but, if the press release is filled with grammar and spelling errors, it leaves the impression of sloppiness and possibly errors in content as well.

5. Hype (!!!)

If your press news is interesting, it will stand on its own. The more exclamations points (!!!), ALL CAPPED words and extraordinary, unbelievable, fabulous language you use, the less believable. Toe it down and you will have more success.

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