SupportBiz lists six don’ts for an effective press release.
1. Don’t lose sight of the timing.
Make sure that your press release is well-timed, in order to achieve maximum impact. Contact media agencies, newspapers and magazines with your press release well in advance before a business-related event, so that they have sufficient time to plan to attend it.
If possible, ensure that the time when you send out your press release does not clash with any other big news that would hog the limelight instead.
2. Don’t send out releases that aren’t news-worthy.
To get media agencies, newspapers and magazines and, ultimately, your target audience interested in your press release, you should ensure that is news-worthy.
Long-winding press releases that just speak about your business and your products/services might not interest them. Instead, for maximum effect, in your press release, include things that will provide some kind of value to them.
3. Don’t be too long-winded.
Journalists are extremely busy people, pressed for time and bogged down by deadlines. Hence, a press release that is too long-winded might end up getting ignored by them. Avoid this at all costs.
Ensure that your press release is clear and crisp, brief and to-the-point.
4. Don’t target the wrong reporters.
You cannot achieve the goals you intend to, if you send your press release to the wrong reporters.
It is crucial to do thorough research before you send out press releases. Send them to newspaper and magazine reporters who would be interested in covering what you have to report. What you are trying to convey through your press release should be relevant to the type of content that they usually write about.
5. Don’t forget to run a spell and grammar check.
Don’t forget to run your press release through a spelling and grammar check, so that there are no grammatical and punctuation mistakes. Very few things put off journalists as much as a badly written press release.
Ensure that your press release is professionally written, in language that is not too flowery or riddled with technical jargon, which can be easily understood by a common reader.
6. Don’t have an unclear pitch.
Find out what your target newspapers or magazines usually report, and build up a pitch that will interest them.
Make sure that your pitch, your news-worthy angle, is clear to the reporter. Include it in the first paragraph (the lead), rather than putting it somewhere in the middle of the press release.