Mistakes to avoid when writing a press release
Back in 2001 the then USAID director Natsios made a remark that shocked the world, according to him Africans don’t know what western time is. All they know is morning, noon and darkness. What makes this newsworthy? The statement made people angry and got their attention, Natsios ignorance of Africa proved one point. The media never forgets if you make a mistake now it will haunt you for a very long time. look at bill Clinton, he is not currently running for president or anything but he is still being used as a means to get to his wife who is running for the top office.
A media release has the potential to cause anger, shock and excitement. This means that before you write one it is very important to think through what your audience will think of it. The biggest cause of mistakes when it comes to press releases is lack of fact checking.
If you don’t get the facts right you may publish a lie, which is bad because it will damage your credibility and image i.e. people will no longer trust you, and the worst part is all it takes is one mistake. People have a habit of remembering the bad things and forgetting the good, to avoid falling into this trap you should double check your facts and when you are done have someone else look at it. if something is not right fix it before its published.
Understand what a press release is
A press release is not something that is used to advertise, instead it’s used to build public image. What you can do here is show the public that your company is not only profit oriented it also cares, for instance, donate something to an orphanage or hand out free stuff or services. This will paint you in positive light and more people will want to be associated with your company. It will also earn you media attention.
The trick is to make the press release something that is newsworthy and positive.
Another major mistake that you should avoid is poor writing, a poorly written press release will do you no favors and most times it will end up in the spam folder. Therefore if you can’t write one you should find someone who can to do it for you, this will help you avoid embarrassing situations.
Failure to diversify
Today people access the news in many different ways; in fact some people today don’t watch live television. What you have to do to ensure that your press release reaches your audience in an effective way is to get it published on multiple platforms. This means that instead of just putting it on television or radio you should also put it on social media, blogs, websites or anywhere else that is relevant.
Generally you must give the journalist or influencer a reason to want to talk about or publish your content, the easiest way to do this is to find an angle that captures attention and directs it to a larger story.