First the Mistakes!
I do quite a lot of press releases and as a result clients often send me theirs for review and comment before they release it.Â Here are some of the most common mistakes which people tend to make, and which you should avoid if youâ€™re toÂ have any chance of getting your piece published!
***Â Inadequate contact details:Â the header of your release should contain your name, company, address, telephone, fax, email and web site, and should make it very clear who is the contact person for questions.
***Â A header that sounds like an advertisement:Â newspaper article headlines are nothing like advertising headlines.Â Never use the headline to convince, and do not big-note yourself or your product in the headline unless the achievement is truly newsworthy; eg â€œAustralian Entrepreneur Buys Walls Streetâ€ or â€œWidget sales top $1 million in 6 monthsâ€.
***Â Claims about products:Â never make a claim for a product unless you put it in as a quotation; eg â€œFounder Christine Sutherland claims that â€˜Even the smallest business can access global markets through the new Web 2.0 phenomenon, free of charge through My Speed Business Networkâ€™â€.
***Â Call to action at the end:Â sure an advertisement should have a call to action, but a news release cannot go that far!Â The best youâ€™ll be able to do is to give a web site or contact number; eg â€œA free report on staff retention strategies is available on www.recruitmentheaven.comâ€.Â You certainly canâ€™t say things like â€œRush to book your place now!â€ or â€œTelephone today for your free report.â€
*** Writing subjectively, using “I” for example.Â This isn’t a dialogue between you and the reader, it’s a third-person, objective report.
What a Press Release Should Look Like
To have any chance of being accepted, your press release should look like any other newspaper article, be written as objectively as possible, in short, simple paragraphs that flow naturally from one to the other.
Take your press release and put it against the pages of a newspaper â€“ does it belong or is the look and tone completely out of place?
2 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Being Published
1.Â Capitalise on current news.Â If obesity is in the news and you want people to consider your approach to weight loss, a press release could be excellent.Â Check out â€œWhy the Biggest Loser is the Biggest Stinkerâ€ to see what I mean!
2.Â Pop in a relevant photograph.Â Journalists love a good picture to go with a good story!
I hope these tips have been helpful, and wish you good luck in promoting your business through press releases!
Who Do You Submit Your Press Release to?
Don’t bother submitting your release to every news wire in the world – that will be a waste of time and will also very much annoy busy editors if they receive something that is completely irrelevant to their readership!
Select out only those media whom you think might be interested, and target them specifically.Â You can do a Google search for news media, including on-line submission services, some of which are free.
Getting Extra Value from Your Press Release
Apart from placing your press releases on your web site and/or utilising them in other company marketing, you can also use your press release as the basis of an interesting article, which you can submit to directories such as EzineArticles.com.
Christine Sutherland is the author of “Take Your Team to the Top” and the founder of My Speed Business Network, a free Web 2.0 community which helps business and sales professionals to develop better business development strategies. You can read more of Christine’s articles on http://www.speedbusinessnetworking.com