Tired of sending out press releases without results? From a weak announcement to writing that feels overly complicated, a number of factors can prevent your press release from capturing the attention of journalists, bloggers and other online influencers.
You don’t need to spend hours editing and reading over your content to get it perfect. You just need to follow a few basic steps to get your word accross to the public simply and effectively.
Luckily, most of these issues can be fixed with the right approach. Namely, by eliminating all of the factors that prevent your press release from performing as well as it could. Below, we’ve put together a list of four things — from bad writing to jargon — to eliminate from your PR content.
By far the most common form of bad writing in press releases, particularly in technical fields, is excessive use of industry jargon.
If you’re a skilled engineer or industry insider, jargon can make a document faster and easier to read. However, if you’re a journalist or member of the general public, even limited use of jargon can make an otherwise excellent press release impossible to decipher.
Before you send out a press release, double-check that it doesn’t contain any words or phrases that someone outside your industry would have trouble understanding. Remember, the goal of a press release is to be readable by any journalist, not only by those with expert knowledge. If you feel you need to include some industry jargon, consider including an easy to understand definition or example so people are able to read on without needing to search word meanings.
We’ve all stumbled onto articles — usually in journals and other business newspapers — that are packed with buzzwords. From “paradigm changing” to “disruptive”, these buzzwords can quickly turn an otherwise interesting press release into a piece of unreadable garbage.
Just like jargon, buzzwords have no place in a good press release. While they might read well to your company’s employees — after all, you’re the ones creating the revolutionary product — they tend to result in nothing but eye-rolling in journalism newsrooms.
Instead, focus on using clear, simple language that anyone can understand. After all, if you can’t explain your product or service using simple terminology, your message needs simplifying.
It’s okay to hype up your products and services a little bit — after all, that’s what most marketing is all about. However, it’s best to avoid being overly superlative when describing your products, services, or brand in your press releases and other communications.
Instead, stick to the facts. Use the upside-down pyramid technique and use the first paragraph of your press release to present a factual, clear depiction of what you’d like to say, then expand on this content in the remaining paragraphs.
While it’s okay to add a little bit of hype every now and then, it’s important to never let it detract from the key message of your press release.
Finally, vague writing is best avoided when you’re penning a press release. From euphemisms to loose descriptions of products, services and events, failing to provide sufficient detail can be poison for earning fair, helpful press coverage.
Remember, the goal of a press release is to communicate all of the vital information you’d like reported to the press. Leave out details, or communicate them using overly vague terminology, and there’s a good chance that you won’t earn the coverage you’d like.
In short, keep it simple, focused and specific. This way, you’ll have the highest chance of being noticed, covered and publicised as a result of your PR efforts.