10 signs of a horrendous press release

Enticing a journalist or blogger to write about your company or client remains an achievement in the PR business. So make sure you’re doing it right.

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I thought it was a little extreme, but the F made me keenly aware of the consequences of mistakes in reporting. When I left journalism for public relations and marketing, I applied the same gun-to-the-head approach to press release writing.

Now about the word “press.” I know press releases are no longer just being sent to the media. Distribution services such PR Web and Business Wire (not to mention Google Alerts, Twitter, Facebook, and other tools people can use to monitor and share content) now allow for a strategy that targets customers directly. David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, prefers to call them “news releases” instead of “press releases,” so it doesn’t sound like they’re exclusively for the press.

But someone else’s writing an article about your business does more for its credibility than your writing an article about it—especially if that someone works for a reputable publication. So if engaging the media is still part of your strategy—and it should be—here are 10 press release boo-boos that far too many pitches contain. Do your best to avoid them.

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