Writing a good press release isn’t rocket science, but there are some important rules to follow and mistakes to avoid if you want to increase your chances of scoring publicity.
I became all-too-familiar with these mistakes in my first newspaper gig. Part of my job involved taking press releases and turning them into listings or briefs — short blurbs with just the bare facts. Besides being incredibly tedious, this chore exposed me to common errors in press releases that make it difficult, if not impossible, for journalists to get the information they need.
Though I transitioned out of that listings gig a long time ago, I still receive press releases on a regular basis, and I still see the same errors. Some are minor, but others basically guarantee that the release will end up in the trash bin.
So in no particular order, here are the most common mistakes in a press release, and how to avoid them: