5 Reasons Your Press Release Is Getting Binned
Working in a newsroom showed me just how many press releases get sent straight to the trash folder. On an average day, I would probably keep only a quarter of the releases and can the rest. Journalists love it when a good story arrives in their lap, but if it’s too tough to figure out what the story is, then it may never see the light of day.
Here are some of the reasons that your press release may end up in the ‘nope’ pile.
Your headline is bad
A press release headline should quickly and easily convey what to expect in the upcoming content. A good headline should also mention the business or product in question and highlight the most interesting aspect of the story. Too often there is too much stuffing in the headline when really it needs more meat – that tantalizing feature that hooks a hungry reporter by the nose.
Your intro is sad
I spend double the amount of time I do on a whole press release just crafting a strong intro because this is where the magic happens! A strong press release intro paragraph can start by posing a question, delivering a relevant fact or making an big announcement. Either way, it should once again include the name of the business or product in question and set up the story in a way that leads the reader naturally into the next paragraph with a ‘how?’ or a ‘why?’.
You’re leaving us cold
Quotes. Quotes are what you are missing! Quotes are the spice of the press release that allow you to share special details and insights directly from the human mouthpiece of your business. They give you a space to be authoritative, opinionated, quirky, empathetic, and help to bring authenticity and human connection to your story.
It’s too damn long
If you’re struggling to get through your own emails, imagine for a moment how media feel when they are greeted with a 1500-word press release that could’ve been 750 words. As a general rule, your main story should fit on the first page. It’s tempting to include ALL the information, but if your story is strong, the recipient will either visit your links or get in touch to find out more.
Code red. It’s not breathing
Nothing will put your reader off more than a big ‘ole wall of text. Breaking up your story into several short and easy to read paragraphs not only makes it easier to read, but also just looks WAY more professional. By breaking your story into easy to read pieces, you can also see which sections are really adding value and which aren’t – in which case, off to the chop shop.
If you're looking to add some spice to your next press release, talk to me at @firstname.lastname@example.org