Press releases are important announcements reserved for large corporations, publishing, and celebrities, right? Wrong! This misconception has been passed down for generations.
The truth is, anyone with vital information that needs to reach the masses should send out a press release.
Being tasked with writing a press release is a huge undertaking when you have limited or no marketing experience. Not understanding marketing principles is common among business owners with limited resources. In most cases, they don’t consider sending out press releases because they don’t know how or why.
Before making common press release mistakes, you should learn to avoid them. Keep reading to learn ten mistakes to avoid when writing press releases.
1. Boring Headlines Are Common Press Release Mistakes
Remember, in most instances, the press release is written to capture the attention of the press and media outlets. Like news articles, the headline must capture the attention of the reader. The writer has a limited number of words to make their press release stand out.
The writer wants to share important news. The release could announce a new product, a book release, or an industry partnership.
The headline identifies the sender and includes essential details about the subject. It is written in active voice. Practice writing your headline in at least five forms.
Another tip is to use the same headline regardless of the audience the message is being pitched to or the medium. It also helps reduce press release grammar mistakes.
Click here to view more about writing the perfect press release title. Also, look for headline analyzer tools to test the strength of your headlines.
2. Not Targeting the Right Audience
Another common press release mistake is not understanding your target audience. If your press release is to announce the release of a book on religious principles, you won’t send it to the sports editor of your local news outlets.
Targeting the right audience requires research to ensure you’re choosing the best leads. There is no guarantee that the person you send the press release to will forward it to their audience. Increase your chances by being intentional about the contacts you choose.
Small outlets are just as important as prominent publications and media sources. Don’t overlook blog sites and digital mediums in smaller communities. Sometimes they have a stronger connection for community-related events.
Research goes a long way to get your information before the right audience.
3. Sticking With Traditional Distribution Sources
Traditional distribution sources are still relevant. However, in the digital era, small businesses and entrepreneurs have more options for press releases.
You no longer have to rely solely upon outlets like PR Web to get your message out. You connect directly with editors, journalists, and PR representatives with social media.
Of course, you don’t want to bombard them with press releases. Instead, build an online connection watch how they share content from third parties. Once you’re confident, they are a good source, direct message them with your press release and a soft request to share it on their pages.
If you must follow up, only do it once. Afterward, assume the message was received, and the recipient opted not to share the information.
While you’re on social media, keep in mind you can share your press releases on your business channels. Also, ask family, friends, and business contacts to share the press release.
Make sure you’re proofreading press releases before distribution. It’s good to have multiple people read the documents, as well as using editing software.
4. Failing to Optimize Content
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for all online content. Writing press releases that will be distributed via digital means needs optimization. There are several items to include.
One, ensure your content contains keywords. If you’re marketing a fundraiser for a local high school football team, your keywords need to include the school’s name, football team name, and fundraiser. Keywords will help your press release get in front of the right people.
Two, online press releases should be easily sharable. The best way to accomplish this goal is to invest in email marketing software. With the software, you can create an easily shareable URL and include social links.
Proofread your press release for grammar mistakes and include your press release title in the email header.
5. Overlooking Social Media Opportunities
We’ve mentioned social media a couple of times in this article. We want to reinforce the importance of social media when it comes to distributing your press release.
Your company or organization should have a business page. A formal online business representation is essential to engage your target audience. You can also invest in paid advertising to give your press release a boost.
Insert a digital copy of the press release to your social media on platforms with limited character space. You can type the copy for your press release directly into social sites like Facebook. You can type a brief CTA or engaging text.
Request social users to share the content with their audiences. Where permissible, post your press release in social groups. Remember to follow the stand press release format as closely as possible when not using a digital copy.
6. Too Many Press Releases
Press releases are meant to announce special events or make a significant announcement. They are not intended to share day-to-day activities, blog posts, are weekly sales events.
Misusing press releases is sure to get your business blacklisted or blocked.
When you follow press release formats, make sure you understand the reasons for sending a press release. Ask yourself if the information is newsworthy. Is the press release needed to alert the reader?
If the information is readily available to your intended audience, you don’t need a press release. Not following proper protocol can land your press releases in spam folders. Your resources will become limited when you actually have vital information to share.
7. Tone Doesn’t Match Audience
Writing press releases is as much about the audience as avoiding press release grammar mistakes. Proofreading press releases aloud can go a long way in ensuring your tone is on point.
It’s true that press releases aren’t as formal as they were ten years ago. A lot has to do with the ways press releases are delivered to their intended audiences. Yes, we still rely on journalists to get press releases to the top-tier recipients.
Common press release mistakes today include being too formal. Write honest, easy-to-read content that is still informative. Don’t bore the reader with robotic writing.
Remember, you represent your brand, and all information should be factual.
8. Forgetting to Edit
Forgetting to edit your press release means you’re not putting your best out to the world. Proofreading more than once can eliminate press release grammar mistakes.
Editing should take place as you’re writing and when you finish the press release. Although this is a short-form document, it must be error-free.
You always have the option to retract a press release and resubmit an updated copy. The task of doing so is by far more time-consuming than running your copy through a few free editing apps available online.
9. Distributing at Inopportune Times
Do you know when the best time to submit your press release to journalists for consideration is? What about when you’re distributing the information yourself?
Timing plays a big part in issuing a press release. Timing is essential because most press releases contain time-sensitive information. It’s crucial that you give journalists and other PR sites adequate time to receive, read, and distribute your press release.
To eliminate risks, the industry standard is to submit press releases midday on Thursdays, at least one whole week before your date set for the release to get distributed.
10. No Call-to-Action
After the recipient reads your press release, they should have a call-to-action (CTA). The CTA is what you want them to do next. Is it to visit a website, attend an event, sign-up for a course, etc.?
It’s not unusual for someone to write a detailed press release and forget the CTA. This common press release mistake can ruin an otherwise well-written announcement.
When following a suitable press release format, the CTA is at the end of the announcement. It is the last thing the recipient should read. The CTA will entice the reader to take the next step if your press release is engaging.
Any source sharing press releases will look for your CTA. If it’s missing, they will not pass it along.
Your Press Release Matters
These common press release mistakes can limit access to your big announcement. In the digital era, life is easier for small businesses. You can quickly improve your marketing with the right tools.
Improving your writing skills is easier when you utilize writing apps with AI technology. Never write bad press releases or content again.
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