There’s no doubt you’ve come across a few press release disasters in the news. You’ve probably seen them and either laughed and thought, “I’m glad that wasn’t my business,” or if you’re like me, you cringed at the horrible grammar and spelling mistakes and stopped reading. Yes, I am that girl – the one that responds with a one-word correction of a spelling mistake made in a friend’s page-long text for fun.
All jokes aside, when it comes to your business sending out press releases to the media, the importance of grammar and spelling and similar writing strategies cannot be understated. One simple word can alter the entire definition of a message, and too many errors can deter readers from finishing the release and/or taking the proper action you desire from them.
Five tips to take into account to avoid press release fails:
As PR Coach also pointed out, “Weight Loss New York” is not a headline. It doesn’t compel journalists to read on, and it doesn’t tell them what event or news will be discussed in the press release surrounding that topic. Ask yourself, “What about it?” If a short answer to that question is not placed in the headline, it needs to be reworked. A better headline might read, “New Diet Program Significantly Increases New York Weight Loss.”
Any journalist will tell you the same thing: the important facts go first. Unlike a good joke that wouldn’t make sense if you said the punch line first, press release content needs to contain the most important facts at the very top. You might only have one minute to attract the media’s attention. What is it that they need to know first and foremost? Why should they be interested in your story? Tell them that information first.
Nobody wants to work to decipher a story. Your story and your credibility can easily be tossed out the window if you have too many typos taking away from the message you’re attempting to share with the media. Also, remember that fresh eyes can catch a lot of mistakes you didn’t notice at first, so have someone else proofread the press release before you send it.
If a journalist has questions and is taking the time to contact you, you want to make sure they can reach the proper person quickly and without hindrance. The second that a journalist realizes contacting you with questions is going to be a hassle, they are going to throw your story out and not think about it again.
Take a look at these headline fails highlighted from the PR Coach:
Greetings to all you Newtwork Marketers
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Did you catch the mistakes in them? Was it only because I pointed out that errors were coming?
If your company is sending out press releases and you want a pair of fresh eyes to look over the content before you hit send, or if you’d rather have the experts take over the logistics of press releases completely, contact us!
We’re here to help shine the best light possible on your company, offering strategic insight into marketing your company to the right audiences with the right content. With Mopdog’s help, you can avoid any of the press release fails mentioned above and more!