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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Strle

15 Worst Press Release Mistakes Companies Make in 2022


Do you ever wonder what the worst press release mistakes are that companies make?


Better yet, do you wonder if experienced public relations’ professionals, communications’ teams or company executives make mistakes writing news releases and what the mistakes are?


In this article, you’ll discover fifteen of the most common press release mistakes that we see companies make in 2022.


15 Worst Press Release Mistakes to Avoid


Both amateur and experienced press release writers make mistakes. Learn from the following 15 worst press release mistakes to ensure you are doing everything to make sure your press release gets read.


  1. Lack of newsworthy angle

  2. Press release is not shared on social media

  3. Poor multimedia mix

  4. Forgetting about trending topics

  5. Poor headline for your news

  6. Confusing a press release with a blog or article

  7. Hard to read formatting

  8. Spelling mistakes

  9. Weak first paragraph

  10. News release is too long

  11. Self-promotional perspective

  12. Missing contact information or boilerplate

  13. Using an incorrect voice

  14. No supporting quotes

  15. Forgetting a call to action

1. Lack of Newsworthy Angle


Frequently, many companies do not realize that a press release must be written about a specific newsworthy event. Instead, they submit an interest article as a press release. But, newswire editors will not approve these releases.


Ideally, the press release event should be something new and unique to the business to pique interest.



Some common newsworthy events include a new product or service, executive changes or earnings announcements.


2. Press Release is Not Shared on Social Media


Some companies’ press releases are not shared on social media and this is a missed opportunity for visibility.


Use social media to prevent press release mistakes


Look for a press release distributor that automatically sends out your press releases on social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.



It is a good idea to include social channel sharing buttons in your press release. This way, readers can click the social media buttons to share it with their own networks.



3. Poor Multimedia Mix


Many press releases fail to incorporate a different mix of multimedia elements.


In 2022, the best press releases are using more combinations of multimedia than ever before. To clarify, they combine text with eye-catching graphics or images, videos, audios and links.


This is one of the key distinctions of modern press releases—the fact that they have become increasingly more interactive….By including videos and links to additional resources that can better support the topic of your press release and add value to its message, your organization could have a much greater chance of successfully attracting the right people.  Jessica Starman, Forbes

4. Forgetting About Trending Topics


Most companies do not attempt to connect any of their press releases with trending topics.


Avoid press release mistakes with trending topics


Tools like Google Trends or Exploding Topics can help you see what the current buzz is about.


Furthermore, you should engage in social listening to discover trends. That is, you should monitor and involve yourself with conversations on social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook or TikTok.


5. Poor Headline For Your News


Sometimes, press releases do not announce the event or company name in the headline.

However, readers should not have to guess what the press release is about or who it is from, upon first glance.



Include your company name in your headline and use powerful action verbs for more effectiveness. Some effective action verbs are release, debut, reveal or reduce.


A recent press release from Suncor provides a good example of a great headline.


6. Confusing a Press Release with a Blog or Article



Frequently, Newsfile receives press releases that read like blogs or interest articles. In fact, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what constitutes a press release versus a blog versus an article.


Newswire editors send press releases back for revisions if they sound more like blogs or articles.


Press release


Press releases are concise, objective pieces written in a formal tone and third person language. Further, they highlight a specific corporate event or announcement and are distributed to the media.


For example, some corporate events include announcing new products, management changes, mergers and acquisitions or awards.


Blog


People write blogs in a more conversational tone or second person and reveal their personal opinions. Blogs can be about any subject that authors choose to write about.


Article

Lastly, articles combine different elements of press releases and blogs. To illustrate, articles are formal, objective pieces that you should write in second or third person. Also, they are typically longer and more comprehensive than blogs.


7. Hard to Read Formatting


It sounds easy, but you’d be surprised how many press releases come in with hard-to-read formatting.


For example, many press releases have paragraphs that are too long and there is very little whitespace throughout. As a result, readers usually lose interest.


Your press release should be easy to read with a lot of whitespace. To accomplish this, you should use short paragraphs, headers, bullets, lists and different types of multimedia. This will keep your press release visually interesting and capture readers attention.


In the end, people are more likely to read press releases from start to finish if the formatting is strong.


8. Spelling Mistakes


Frequently, companies have spelling mistakes in their press releases. These mistakes happen even after multiple eyes from the company have proofed the news releases before sending to newswires.


Actually, some companies have even misspelled their own company name.


You can use spell-checking tools to minimize mistakes. However, these tools do not detect all mistakes.


Newswire services that provide good proofing services tend to catch more spelling mistakes.


9. Weak First Paragraph


Some writers aren’t aware that you should include your company name and event in the first sentence or early on in the first paragraph of your press release.


This will help ensure that your press release is more discoverable.


Another common mistake is a long first paragraph. Make sure to keep this paragraph brief since it encourages people to read more.


10. News Release is Too Long


Sometimes, extra long press releases arrive at a newswire’s doorstep. Try and look at long press releases and cut them down as much as you can. Short and concise press releases are more effective.


But, if you do want to communicate more ideas to your readers, the best way is to provide links to additional resources and information. For example, directing to another place on your website can accomplish this.


11. Self Promotional Perspective


Some companies try to use press releases as advertisements. However, this is improper and newswire services will reject these types of press releases.


For example, newswire editors will reject press releases that discuss contests or give-aways. This is because media partners like Yahoo! Finance have strict guidelines that prohibit promotional press releases.


12. Missing Contact Information or Boilerplate


Press releases that are missing contact information cannot be sent out over the wire.


At a minimum, ensure that you include a contact name or department, along with a phone number and/or email. If you wish, you can also provide a contact title and a website link.


You should also include a boilerplate at the end of your press release. This is a short, standardized paragraph that provides a high level, strategic overview of the company.


13. Using an Incorrect Voice


You should write your press release in third person. For instance, she, him, its, the company, they, them or theirs are all examples of third person voice. This style sounds more formal.


Oftentimes, people write press releases in second person. But, second person writing should be reserved for blogs instead of press releases. Referring to you or your are examples of the second person, casual writing style.


14. No Supporting Quotes


Some underestimate the importance of using quotes to offer personal views or insights that enhance press releases. These quotes hook readers to connect more easily with the news releases and they are not that hard to get.


It is a good idea to ensure that your quote doesn’t merely repeat what you are already saying in your press release. Instead, it should offer a fresh perspective or idea.


Oftentimes, company executives, thought leaders or subject matter experts provide quotes for press releases.


15. Forgetting a Call to Action


Don’t forget to include a call to action (CTA) in your press release. To illustrate, you can direct readers to your website or blog or ask them to sign up for your newsletter.

You can ensure that your press releases are written properly by avoiding the 15 worst press release mistakes companies are making in 2022. This will get more eyes reading your news.



 


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