Here are four common reasons that your press release ended up in the trash folder.
1. It wasn’t news.
What’s your hook? Is your story timely? Significant? Unique? Does it involve something new? Before you draft your next press release, ask yourself, “Is this news?” And be honest. If the answer is no, step away from the keyboard and gather the team for a brainstorm to come up with some new story angles and ideas.
2. It was poorly written.
A press release should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. It is not the place for jargon, excessively technical explanations, or hyperbole. And don’t try to get cute with the headline – this is about communicating news clearly – save your creative plays-on-words for blog posts and social media. You want a solid headline that is attention-grabbing, but also clear and informative. Also – and I hate to even go here – but please make sure the release is devoid of spelling and grammatical errors before hitting “send.” Nothing turns journalists off faster than misspellings and poor grammar. They’re a one-way ticket to the “blocked sender” lists.
3. It didn’t include visuals.
Are there key messages in your press release that would be better explained through an infographic or a simple animation? Could you include a short Q&A video with your new VP to accompany her new hire announcement? Press releases that include graphic elements attract more attention and tell your story in a richer, more meaningful way.
4. You weren’t strategic.
At the end of the day, if your goal is to get media coverage of your company, you need a broader communications strategy than just sending out a press release. You can’t simply put a release out using a wire distribution service like PR Web or PR Newswire and expect the coverage to come rolling in. Build relationships with reporters. Read their articles. Follow them on social media. Target the right people with your story ideas and personalize your pitches. Tie your story into a broader news hook. Pitches that are creative and offer journalists a unique story angle go a long way in securing media coverage.
These are only a few reasons that might help explain why your press release is getting the silent treatment. With a strong public relations strategy in place, your team should be able to address these challenges and more.