What NOT to include in your press release

In the trade press world in particular, journalists are busy and stretched. They aren’t even always journalists. No offence meant, but I was responsible for the content in a B2B trade publication, and I am not a trained journalist. Writing content was about 20% of my job. I didn’t have a lot of time to fiddle with press releases, but we needed fresh content on the site every day.

The lesson to take away is: make it easy for a quick republish. Even super busy journalists won’t just publish anything. We have standards.

Things not to include in your press release:

  • Uncited opinions. “XYZ is the future of this industry” it may look good on paper, but you are much less likely to get republished if it is riddled with uncited opinions. If you have a stance on an issue, put it in a quote. It’s fine to republish an opinion, even a controversial one as long as it’s attributable to someone.
  • So many hyperlinks. It’s a chore to have to remove them all, slip one or two in at the end for SEO purposes, but don’t hyperlink every time your name comes up, it’s annoying.
  • Not News. Oh you’re speaking at a tradeshow you attend every year, great, not news. Oh you think you are doing the best in the industry, but aren’t able to back it up? Not news. In the B2B world it can be tough to be newsworthy, but don’t send out pointless press releases. New research announced, fine! New partnership announced, good! New business won, great! But make sure there is something newsworthy, and mention it in the first paragraph.
  • Superlatives. “Our company, the leading..” Don’t – we just have to delete it, if you can’t back up that you are ‘the leading’ don’t say it, it doesn’t mean anything, and it will get changed.
  • Sentences that go on forever. I know you have a lot to say, but you don’t have to say it all in one sentence. Keep sentences and paragraphs short and concise.
  • Adjectives. Some are fine, but watch out if you are using the words “really” or “very”. There are stronger ways to make your point.

That’s just a start. Think we can help you with your press release? Email mailto:sarah@redstartmarketing.com

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