If you write press releases, one of the worst mistakes you can make is writing to please the boss or the PR client.
Here’s what bosses and clients like to see:
- What I call “the B.S. quote.” It sounds like this: “The ABC Widget Company is honored to be a part of this long-standing tradition blah-blah-blah…”
- On first reference, abbreviations after the client’s name to designate their professional affiliations, certifications or college degrees so they look important. Some writers insert three and four abbreviations after one name, making the sentence look like a bowl of alphabet soup. Because most readers aren’t familiar with the designations, journalists immediately edit them out. Or, they simply hit the “delete” key, and the press release is history.
- Long, pompous boilerplate, those two or three paragraphs at the end of the release that speak in glowing terms about the company. Often, boilerplate includes lots of overused words and industry jargon like “turnkey solutions” and “cross-platform applications.”
- A press release approved by managers at all levels, including the legal department. This gives everyone a chance to participate in the writing and editing and, in the process, water down the release and make it difficult to understand—with no consideration whatsoever for the end user, the reader.
- Not conforming to Associated Press style, thus making journalists work harder to make it conform. If you don’t have an AP Stylebook, get one.
If you want to learn how to write press releases for readers and, in turn, make journalists happy, sign up for my free email course called “89 Ways to Write Powerful Press Releases.”