If you’ve been investing time and resources into creating press releases without feedback then you might be making one or more press release distribution mistakes. What could be the problem? Unbeknownst to most brands, journalists consider countless elements of a story when choosing content for publications.
If you make the mistake of ignoring the standard press release requirements, journalists will have a very straightforward reason to consider other press releases instead of yours. In this guide, we will look at press release distribution mistakes that could cost you positive feedback and how to avoid them.
Common press release distribution mistakes
1. Weak title
If you want to capture the readers’ attention, then you need to create an optimized and engaging press release headline. Don’t assume that creating a captivating headline means you need to use fancy terms or jargon. If you want to captivate and engage readers, the secret is actually to keep it simple. One of the major mistakes that many businesses make is creating headlines that are not straightforward. By using parables, metaphors and extravagant language, they fail to demonstrate to their audience how the news affects them.
You should also include popular keywords from your niche in your press release title. While the headline is supposed to inform the reader on what to expect, it shouldn’t tell them everything. If the reader gets all the information they need in your headline, they won’t even consider reading the first paragraph of your press release.
The title can make the difference between a press release that is read and one that is set aside. To put this into perspective, many journalists read it first before skimming through the rest of your content. If they find your title long, boring, and irrelevant, rest assured they will not read the rest of the press release.
Since your company’s reputation is at stake when you make these mistakes, it pays to avoid them. Mistakes like these will not only affect the effectiveness of the current press release you’re distributing, but also those you’ll send in the future.
2. No personalization
Never send mass emails when you’re sending journalists your press release. Keep in mind that each journalist has their own unique preferences, so it only makes sense to personalize your approach. While some won’t mind being sent a mass email, most will. While customizing your lead, headlines, and titles is time-consuming, it’s also worth the effort.
Before you distribute your final draft, do your research first. You need to find journalists who publish stories in your niche. Additionally, you need to identify their target audience and determine if it aligns with the audience you’re trying to reach. Lastly, take note of how each journalist shares their stories.
When you reach out to them, explain the relevance of your story to their beat and suggest a few story angles that meet their interests instead of asking them to publish your content as it is. When you create a discussion, the probability of establishing an ongoing relationship with them is higher. In the long run, your press releases will get more priority from a journalist who feels a connection to you.
3. Not including multimedia
Delivering a press release that is just paragraphs upon paragraphs of information-dense text is a big mistake. This kind of content is not digestible. If anything, it’s monotonous and exhausting to consume. The good news is that you can make your news more appealing by including multimedia content like images, infographics, memes, GIFs, Hashtags, and videos. To demonstrate your effort and provide insight into your business, you should create content that adds value to your press release announcement. Remember that reporters will find it helpful when they can pick supporting content from your press release to use as part of their stories. Instead of waiting for them to ask for supporting content, including this content right off the bat saves them time.
4. Using the wrong writing style
If you want the media outlet to consider your release, then you should follow the writing style they use. You’ve also got to avoid writing a press release that’s too salesy. If they notice you’re trying to sell your brand rather than offering them a valuable story, they will put your press release aside. Some of them will even mark your email address as spam, destroying any chances of you getting in touch with them with a good story in the future.
To turn your press release into a newsworthy article, use the third person. It also helps to follow Associated Press formatting. When you include quotes, make sure they offer a fresh perspective on your story rather than repeating facts that you’ve already shared in the press release. Using quotes from your business executives or one of the founders is a good way to help your readers connect with your announcement emotionally. However, you can gain more credibility if you get some quotes from independent sources.
5. No re-optimization
Besides distributing your content to media outlets, there are other channels you can leverage to enhance visibility. You can repurpose the press release by turning it into a blog post and sharing it with the general public. You can even re-optimize your press release for your online newsroom so that visitors can read it when they stop by.
Creating a landing page where you share business news and updates will also benefit your brand. For instance, prospective customers will know where to go with their inquiries and potential employees will know how to reach out in case they’re looking for vacancies.
Social media is also a great platform to use for sharing news. On social media, you can encourage sharing, create a hashtag that goes viral, and even share tease snippets.
6. Disregarding analytics
To create the best content, you’ve got to take time to learn the likes and dislikes of your prospects. With the magic of analytics, you can access this information easily. If you have a team of experts for research analytics, you need to consider their contributions. With their insight, you can create a compelling story. This insight will also help you with search engine optimization.
Analytics break things down by demographics. As such, they will give you an indication of how the clients are responding to your content. Studying analytics also allows you to compare results from various press releases and help you discover what’s working and what isn’t working.
7. Weak CTA
If you don’t create a powerful CTA for the end of your release, then all your efforts will go to waste. Don’t use the CTA to direct the audience to your home page. Instead, use it to prompt specific actions. Make sure you spell out exactly what you want your readers to do once they’ve read the press release. For instance, you can direct them to the product or service page. If you want them to sign up for your newsletter, you should mention this. Your press release should demonstrate transparency and this applies to your CTA as well.
There are many things to consider when creating a press release. By leveraging these tips, you can avoid common press release distribution mistakes and enjoy successful distribution across different media outlets. Effective press release distribution will allow you to share your news with the world in a way that ignites their curiosity about your brand.
How Pressfarm can help with your press release distribution (and writing)
If you need help doing targeted distribution for your press release, then it might help to partner with a PR agency with an established network of media contacts, like Pressfarm.
With Pressfarm’s Launch package, you can write a press release and have our team review it to make sure it meets industry standards before distribution. What’s more, we can actually review and distribute your press release for you. This way, you don’t have to worry about figuring out when the best time to send your press release out is. Want to have your press release written from scratch so that you don’t need to worry about any of this? Then our Campaign package could be just what you need.
In addition to making sure you have a press release that creates a positive brand image and puts you in front of your target audience when they’re paying attention. We can also help you create other content to attract attention. Our team of PR specialists, expert writers and certified designers are skilled at creating quality email pitches, guest posts, feature articles and media kits. All of these are designed to excite your target audience and help you win new clients over.
As a Pressfarm client, you also get custom media lists to help you connect with the best media professionals in your niche. Additionally, you can access our comprehensive media database of over 1 million journalists, bloggers, and influencers for up to a year at no additional cost. With these media contacts, you can continue doing media outreach for your brand long after we’ve wrapped your PR campaign at Pressfarm up.