PR Mistake #3: Mistaking Press Releases for Sales Pitches
Press releases are a key tool when it comes to getting PR for your brand or organisation, but if they are going to be in any way effective, your press releases need to be written like press releases, not sales pitches.
While some may say that press releases are dead, according to a number of journalists and PRs on LinkedIn, press releases are far from over and still remain a very effective way for journalists to source stories and for PRs to get coverage in the media.
The trick to writing an effective press release is to focus on the story and the angle that will appeal to your audience. Don’t make it all about your business and definitely make sure it doesn’t sound like a sales pitch. Unless there is an interesting piece of new, relevant information in your press release it’s not likely to get picked up.
The best press releases, according to LinkedIn, are those that are written in a journalistic style and format. This means an attention grabbing headline and a relevant, clear story angle that will appeal to the intended audience.
Here are a few tips that will help you write eye-catching press releases that are more likely to get noticed by the journalists you’re targeting:
- Make it relevant to the publication
Don’t make the mistake of sending out a single press release to everyone in your contact book. If you want to be taken seriously, it’s important to tailor your press releases to each publication you’re targeting. If a busy journalist can’t immediately see the relevance of your story, it’s likely to end up on the discard pile.
- Focus on the story
When writing a press release it’s important to focus on the story and not your brand. Consider the angle and make it as compelling as possible. Don’t forget to include the journalistic principles of who, what, where, when and why.
- Include facts and figures to back up your claims
Hard evidence and statistics are always appealing to journalists as they add credibility to your story. As long as your statistics are from a reliable source they can make a big difference to the overall success rate of your campaign.
Writing great press releases does take a bit of practice but it’s well worth putting in the time and effort to get it right. A compelling press release can make the difference between getting your story covered in a mainstream media publication or being ignored.