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Crafting an Effective Press Release by Avoiding Common Errors

by | Jan 14, 2013 | Press Release Writing | 0 comments

Randomly opened Online News Web sites on Computer Screen.

There are many tactics online marketers use as they relate to spreading a message, attracting attention to a brand and improving search engine rankings.  One popular method is through the distribution of press releases or “hot-topic news items” about an individual or a company.  Press releases, in general, are very valuable for use online because of their ability to immediately change, improve and modify search engine rankings.  However, in order to get the most out of a press release, you simply cannot write one haphazardly and without a certain amount of strategy.  You must decide on the goals of your press release and write accordingly.

The Use of Press Releases in Online Marketing

Distributing a press release that was simply thrown together can prove harmful to a brand or online message.  Take the following common errors into consideration when crafting the structure and content of your press release:

  • Writing about a topic that isn’t news.  First off, it’s very hard for some individuals or companies to truly identify what is classified as news and what is not.  While it is often apparent what to write about (a sale or special offer, a new product, an award or honor presented to an executive of the company, etc.), you may find yourself grasping for a suitable topic if you have no new product launches or promotions to share.  Ultimately, you must be able to present an angle that is newsworthy and relevant.  This is the only way your release will gain any traction online or be picked up by other media outlets.
  • Using a casual or informal tone not up to par with journalistic standards and/or writing in the first or second person.  No matter what your release is discussing, you must keep it high level and professional.  The verbiage you use must be commanding and be delivered in an authoritative voice.  The same can be said about using a first or second person perspective.  A press release must always be delivered in the third person and you have to be very careful to double and triple check this when you are proofing and getting ready to distribute the release.  Many times, writers have a tendency to switch perspectives and, while it is okay to use the first person point of view in a direct quote, you should make sure that you switch back to third person as soon as you are done quoting a source.
  • Not understanding or discounting the value of a professional distribution service.  Many first time press release writers or amateur marketers truly do not realize the value of utilizing a professional PR wire service, such as PRWeb, PR Newswire, etc., until it is too late. Instead they believe that their press release will easily get picked up by sending it to a TV station or newspaper directly.  Let me be the first to say that this is not a sound strategy and that it is unlikely, except in the case of very small, local markets (I’m talking small towns and a local paper, not a large media market) that you will get any traction or attention for your release.  Of course, a PR wire service also comes with a cost and, if you are on a tight budget, it is true that this might not be feasible right off the bat.  However, I only say this because I have seen many individuals take the press releases my team at Grammar Chic writes and come back to me frustrated and disappointed with their results after trying to distribute it on their own.  Ultimately, if you plan on utilizing a PR wire service, realize that the reason you are paying a steep price is because they are providing you with a way of immediately getting in touch with their vast network of editors, copy desks, bloggers, journalists and the like.  As such, in order to take advantage of this network and get the most out of your press release distribution, simply put, you must spend money to make money.

In closing, press releases and their corresponding distribution strategies are excellent tools in the arsenal of any online marketer, businessperson or individual—at least when they are executed correctly. If you are just getting started in the world of press release writing or if you have been working at this angle, but have not yet seen results and need some help, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. by calling 803-831-7444 today or visiting www.grammarchic.net.  Our team of professional press release writers can help you draft and distribute a press release that highlights your brand or news effectively and gets results!