One of the most important tasks PR professionals handle is the creation and distribution of press releases. You're expected to include all necessary details that explain an important - and potentially transformational - development, and it’s expected to be right the first time.
Press releases offer an opportunity for brands to reach their audiences in the most direct, factual manner possible. Effectively telling these stories allows you to get ahead of the media, making the first impression on viewers, competitors and other companies in the industry. But that means your press release has to be in pristine condition as soon as it hits the masses.
Here are three common press release mistakes you need to avoid:
When creating your title, take this advice: Entice readers with a short but informative punch. You may be inclined to tell your entire story in the headline, but then you risk dozens of readers moving onto the next story because they don't need to dig for more information. You need to give them enough facts to encourage further reading. Entrepreneur magazine contributor Phillip Thune recommended the following tips for creating your strong, yet concise headline:
* Make it a general rule of thumb to stick around 100 characters so that it can fit into a tweet.
* Keep the most important information in the first 55 characters, as this is what shows up in Google SERPs.
Consider using subheads throughout the copy, as they can encourage and attract readers to read past the headline.
A short and concise headline is important, but a strong lead is even more critical. It's easy for readers to get lost in the abyss of copy when they're looking for certain information, so make it a priority to keep your important point in plain view. Burying the lead is a common mistake made in press releases and can cost you hundreds of readers if you don't follow a smart format when presenting the text.
A press release isn't the right place nor time to create an advertisement. Press releases are sometimes meant to be promotional, but only subtly, so headstrong statements and certain remarks can come off as tacky and tasteless to your audiences. Be smart about the details you include in your press releases and stick to the factual information you lead with. At most, the only piece of promotional copy within the press release should be your contact information.
A strong story will make moves as long as you include detailed and succinct information. It always helps to use quotes to back up factual statements. Pay less attention to how you can stand out and focus more on getting the raw, critical information to the public in a timely manner.