How to avoid common news release blunders

We all desire and expect coverage for our news releases, given the hard work that can go into researching and writing one – not to mention the boost it should give to your marketing efforts.

But what kind of news release content is likely to put reporters off, or reduce their level of interest in using your story?

Here are a few tips, based my experience in Public Relations:

  • Using jargon. If you’re writing for a technical, specialist media audience, producing a news release that is tailored for the job, it’s fine to expect a level of knowledge of the subject matter and craft your words accordingly. But our job is to make the journalist’s life easier, remember – copy that is difficult to follow and littered with buzz words from your industry or organisation won’t get used.
  • Providing no immediate ‘hook’ for the story, or having the main point of the news release buried five paragraphs down (or further) from the top. Journalists and editors are usually presented with a wide choice of new stories on any given day and make a quick decision about whether they will look at your story in any more depth. Get to the point quickly. They have plenty of other choices…
  • Not really enough news content. Please see my previous blog. There’s little point in issuing the news release in the first place if what you are doing is not that unusual or timely. Would you be interested in talking about the subject to a friend or your partner?
  • Making the release too long. Stick to the equivalent of two sides of A4 paper, including contact details for follow-up information (do make sure you include these, too). Journalists usually dread having to wade through lots of information; they tend to have short attention spans.

 

If you would like more advice on researching and writing good news releases that gain coverage, or on media relations in general, please email me: bennettwords@sky.com

 

http://www.bennettwords.biz

 

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