|7 COMMON ERRORS THAT WILL DOOM YOUR MEDIA RELEASE
Many organizations use media releases as a way to try to garner free publicity. Whether you’re writing a straightforward “hard news” story or a feel good “soft news” narrative, the following seven common errors are likely to cause your release to be ignored:
- Writing a “Media Release” That’s Really an “Ad.” Press releases are not “ads” dressed up in different clothing. They are objective announcements about something that is going on in your company. Any claims about your product or service’s superiority (such as “this product will revolutionize the brick laying field”) must be attributed to someone as a quote.
- Starting with a Terrible Lede. The “lede” is the first few sentences of your release. It is the “hook” that hopefully entices the recipient into looking at the rest of the release. Few people will keep reading if your release begins with a poorly written or “who cares?” lede.
- Telling Lies. Don’t exaggerate, invent “facts,” attribute quotes to people who had nothing to do with the story, play “loosey goosey” with the numbers, etc. If you’re exposed, your company’s reputation will suffer.
- Having an Unprofessional Appearance. Non business-like fonts, multi-colored type or other gimmicks are not a good idea.
- Being Overly Wordy. Cut to the chase; journalists are very busy people.
- Presenting Information Poorly. A hard news story should follow the old “inverted pyramid” format that you learned in school, with the most important “who, what, where, why, when, and how” information coming first. Don’t expect the reader to sift through a jumbled pile of seemingly unrelated facts.
- Putting the Reader to Sleep. Regardless of how dry your subject matter is, there’s just no excuse for being completely boring. Your intended recipient is a person, not a machine.