The 10 most common press release mistakes — and how to fix them

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:

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Tips for a successful interview with the press

Good publicity is literally something you can’t buy. And an interview with a member of the press is one of your main gateways to good publicity.

The problem? When conducting an interview, there’s always the risk that your words will be misconstrued, taken out of context or used against you to mean something other than what you intended. Or you could just get yourself in trouble by saying really stupid things.

But if you follow the rules of conducting a successful interview, you’ll minimize that risk and increase your chances of scoring good publicity.

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Media Relations 101: A ridiculously detailed guide to writing a good press release

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Chances are you probably understand the value of good press. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here trying to find out how to write a good press release.

It’s true — the press can be your best friend. Or, it can be that hot guy (or girl) in high school who ignored you. The difference depends largely on the quality of the press release you write. I’m here to tell you how to write a good one.

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Press Release for author Susan Ravagni

Local woman self-publishes first book, “I’m Just a Girl,” now available in 12 independent bookstores and Amazon.com; book signing to be held Dec. 13

Wilmington, Mass. Dec. 5, 2009—Wilmington resident Susan Ravagni has self-published her first book, the medical mystery adventure “I’m Just a Girl,” through Dog Ear Publishing. Ravagni, a 48-year-old mother of two, has placed her book at 12 independent booksellers in the North Shore area, including Andover Bookstore and The Book Rack in Newburyport, as well as online retail giant Amazon.com. She will hold a book signing and author talk at Leah Mae’s Tearoom in Haverhill on Sunday, Dec. 13.

“I’m Just a Girl” follows the trail of Amanda Buscemi, a medical technologist and mother of two who learns that the seemingly accidental death of a Boston College hockey player may not have been an accident after all. As Buscemi and her best friend, Milagros, follow the trail of clues, they uncover a murder plot that draws them into a sinister web – and a hilarious, outlandish adventure.

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