31 reasons why press releases fail

| December 3, 2009

So many press releases sink without a trace. Here are 31 common sense reasons why your news might not be seeing the light of day.

Why did your Press Release sink?

  1. It’s boring. You might think your news is amazing but be honest with yourself… is it really newsworthy?
  2. You haven’t targeted your release properly – are you sending out news about green widgets to an audience of blue widget magazines?
  3. You’ve sent it to the wrong person – many publications have more than one editor / specialist editors
  4. You sent it at the weekend, or first thing Monday morning when everyone’s in box is overflowing with the weekend’s spam ‘n’ kipple
  5. It sounds like an advert for your business rather than a legitimate news item
  6. You’ve forgotten to include full contact details
  7. Your headline didn’t catch their eye
  8. You attempted to be funny and clever but just ended up sounding weird
  9. You tried busy editors’ patience by being needlessly mysterious
  10. You wrote too much
  11. You wrote too little
  12. You used technical language and blinded them with science
  13. You blew your own trumpet far too hard
  14. You focused on the features of your product but forgot about  the benefits
  15. Your release was so dense and poorly formatted that people couldn’t be bothered to read it
  16. You were shamelessly biased
  17. Your message was confused / confusing
  18. You responded to relevent circumstances too slowly
  19. Wild, exaggerated claims made editors suspicious
  20. You forgot to include a call to action and response mechanisms
  21. You didn’t carry out a follow up – which can boost response significantly
  22. You didn’t say anything fresh, just repeated old news
  23. You wrote to ‘dear Sir or Madam’ instead of personalising your message
  24. You didn’t include quotes from pertinent people
  25. You used poor English – your release was badly written, spelled and punctuated
  26. You were rude about a fellow business or individual
  27. You sent it in a format they couldn’t work with
  28. You missed a deadline
  29. The publication uses someone else as their regular, trusted supplier for feedback on a particular subject
  30. You only send a release once in a blue moon
  31. You don’t sound confident

Tags:

Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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