How to (NOT) write the worst press release ever.

There’s something going around this year.

It’s contagious.

Your brand might have caught it, but it’s the media who’s getting sick of it.

2020 was a total shit show for many reasons, but I’m talking about the crap being passed off as press releases.

It’s spreading like a virus, and lots of brands have succumb to this bug.

I can’t explain, but I can help you fix it.

How to write a Press Release that doesn’t suck

Hearing that your PR might suck is a tough pill to swallow. But you can nurse it back to health by making sure every press release has these essentials:

  • Descriptive title that explains what’s up in one sentence
  • Embargo Day / Date / Time Zone
  • Bullet point list of key newsworthy points, at top of PR
  • Full press release text (preferably sans glowing marketing hyperbole)
  • Pricing & availability details
  • Key images, preferably embedded inside text where appropriate
  • Contact info with phone number
  • Download link or zipped attachment with all images

That’s not a lot, right?!?

Sooooo many people get it wrong.

Let me expand on a few of these items.

EMBARGO: If you don’t include the time AND time zone in your embargo, then someone’s going to post it early and mess up your carefully crafted launch plan.

And the media that didn’t go first? They’ll be pissed that someone else did, but that pissy-ness will be directed toward you for not laying out the rules.

Also helpful if you provide at least a day before the embargo is up. Because more technical information = more time needed to prepare.

DETAILS: If the written press release can’t succinctly explain what’s new or important, include charts, graphs and images to fill in the gaps. It’s OK to leave out some of the super geekery, but things like price, availability, etc., are basic info that should be included.

It’s OK to make us work to create a truly exceptional story, just don’t make us ask for the basics.

CONTACT INFO: And if you’re going to make us work for it, have people available. We’re just as slammed as you, make it easy for us to call, message or email the people who can actually answer our questions…and make sure they reply.

IMAGES: Lastly, make sure your image download link works.

Actually, first, make sure you have actual images available to go with your story. (yes, you are interpreting that correctly…not every press release actually included product images this year)

Then, make sure we can actually download your images. Quickly, easily, without us having to request access or permission. Seriously.

If it doesn’t kill ya…

A bad press release may not kill you, but it certainly doesn’t make you stronger.

Don’t make us sick. Or facepalm. Use the tips above to write a better press release. It might be basic, but it will help you get better coverage in the media.

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