1. The writing is boring or unrelated to the content
Avoid over use of clichés in your title. If you decide to use puns, make sure the puns you use are witty and well suited to the article.
2. You write in the first person
It should be as informative and concise as possible so that you garner respect from readers. Writing press releases requires a strict style of writing that is formal, but not too stiff.
3. You don’t say enough
Avoid assuming that the reader knows everything pertinent relating to the underlying announcement or news. Add the proper information in the first few paragraphs of your press release.
4. You’re missing a comma
Proper punctuation is essential for your press release to be publish-worthy. Make sure your copies are ready for the newspaper or other high-focus platform.
5. You didn’t scrutinise your copy as a whole
Make sure you check your copy in entirety and that it is indeed fit for a press release in terms of overall language quality, content that’s included, timing and so on.
6. You use capital letters too much
Words in all capital letters are likened to shouting. Use capital letters only where necessary.
7. It is too short
Your press release should never lack information. Never forget to satisfy the 5W’s & 1H; who, what, when, where, how and why of your article as a best practice.
8. You advertise
Be balanced in promoting where appropriate, but do not advertise as such. Save such a pitch for a suitable campaign and platform.
9. You just do not advertise, you also scream
Avoid using exclamation marks, unless really essential, in your press release. Also steer clear of using too many adjectives.
10. You’re too sales-y
Remember your press release is not a platform to sell your products. Stick to providing useful information and communicating news to your target audience.
11. You stuff your press release with too many keywords
Avoid overstuffing your news release with too many keywords in the headline and body. This is also poor Search Engine Optimisation practice and can lead to penalties in terms of rank when publishing in the digital realm.
12. You use industry jargon to your detriment
Using industry speak can sometimes be a turn off, if readers can’t connect the jargon with the story. Be cautious in the use of such technical words and expressions – rather find a simpler, effective way of communicating such to the intended audience.
13. You don’t have adequate follow up news
Distribute your news in front of your audience over the appropriate timeline.
14. Your press release isn’t newsworthy
Make sure your press release contains something that journalists will be interested in writing about. There should also be no question of the value to your target audience.
15. Your press release isn’t getting into the right hands
Make sure your press release is getting into the hands of copywriters or journalists that are on a large distribution list, and if possible who know you or have written about you in the past.
16. You don’t coordinate effectively
Make sure all stakeholders are informed timeously and keep copywriters and journalists updated with regards to “what is” as well as “what is to come”.
17. You aren’t ready for a follow up from a journalist
Always be confident and have necessary answers ready. It is acceptable to hold back answers and only notify journalists who are willing to ask questions,
if needs be.
18. You leave the journalist with too much work to do
Give journalists and copywriters the full newsworthy content of the story. They may not have time to dig stories that are not immediately interesting to the public or your target market.
19. You don’t maximise your chances of securing editorial links
A link from one of the biggest newspapers can certainly delight journalists and readers alike.
20. You’re forgetting to fine tune your publication
Strive to always provide ready-to-publish work that ideally goes well and beyond “the norm”. After all it should stand out effectively as opposed to blend into the plethora of news that’s already out there. It goes without saying that the standard of spelling, grammar, length of the article, structure and so on must be optimal. In this way, you also create a solid reputation for yourself and newspapers would gladly publish stories from you in future.