You want your press release to be lean and mean. All muscle, no fat. If your average celeb story in the paper is a sugary snack, press releases are healthy power bars that boost your business and get you through the day. Or something like that anyway.
To get to that point, it’s time to look at your last few press releases. Undoubtedly you have some extra weight you can trim off that will increase your chances of getting published. Remember, journalists and editors are working on limited space, and readers don’t want to read an epic novel about your product release or CEO hiring. Bring them in, interest them, and get them out.
Here are a few things you included in your last press release you should cut immediately.
Example: “Our groundbreaking, award-winning, mind-blowing new Hydrolux 5000 will literally melt your brain with how quickly it cleans your gutters!”
The press release’s main objective is to inform. Sure, businesses use it to announce events that are exciting to them. However, this doesn’t mean that its primary job isn’t to basically spread information to the masses. They’re designed just to get info from your company to the people at large in a straightforward fashion.
So adding in unnecessary adjectives and silly hype goes against the point. First of all, no one has ever had their brain literally melt watching their gutters get cleaned. That’s entirely too much hyperbole for a press release. Also is cleaning gutters really “groundbreaking” or “mind-blowing?” Probably not.
On the other hand, if you actually won awards and are thus “award-winning” that is something you should describe in detail. That’s not hype, that’s news that’s relevant to the release, and shows why people should take the time to read it.
Example: “The Hydrolux 5000 is the latest in a line of gutter cleaners that includes the Hydrolux 4000, the Hydrolux 3000, and the Hydrolux 2000. The original was the Hydrolux 1000 and it was created in 1914 by Edward D. Hydroluxen in Boise, Idaho, at his family’s ranch.”
Just like overhyping your product release or whatever you’re writing about, you can also add in too many details to the press release. While the aim of the press release is to inform, your readers aren’t going to care about every single thing you put in there. You want every detail to be as relevant and “juicy” as you can make it.
Before you started writing the release, you hopefully took a second to consider if the news was newsworthy enough to write about. You should take each sentence of the release into similar consideration. Would you care about that detail if you were reading it about another company? If not, cut it.
In the above example, the previous versions of the Hydrolux are unneeded. The last line might be interesting, though, as it appears it’s the 100th year of the company’s existence. That’s likely big news and could tie into a celebration you’re throwing this year. If not, though, it might bore the readers into skipping over the exciting parts of your press release.
Are you guilty of including boring details or needless hype to your press releases?