How NOT to Write a Press Release for Your Awards Program

Contrary to what many companies believe, the press release is not dead[1]. Well, maybe certain outdated tactics are, but the awards marketing and advertising potential of a press release hasn’t changed.

The perfect press release is something of a science, requiring the right construction to be effective. And while you search for “how to write a press release” I’m going to show you how NOT to write a press release.

Note: This is a silly, fictionalized press release I’ve created for your amusement.

The Yuppy Puppy Gets Their Twentieth Facebook Like

Washington, D.C.: Today, The Yuppy Puppy, a bespoke clothing brand and accessory line created for the most stylish dogs, announced that they have reached 20 likes on the social media platform Facebook. When Yuppy Puppy was first getting started, they decided to get the word out about their products through social media. After trying out several different platforms, they are now focusing their efforts mainly on Facebook, but also Pinterest and Instagram. After joining Facebook five years ago under a different name, The Yuppy Puppy is proud that consumers are realizing the practicality of designer dog wear.

At their store in the heart of Washington D.C., The Yuppy Puppy held an event to celebrate their achievement. At the celebration, the found of Yuppy Puppy said, “We are so happy to be doing something unique that we love. To quote Ernest Hemingway, ‘Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the Romance of the unusual.’”

The twentieth like comes from Pam Eranian, a 45-year-old woman hailing from San Francisco, California. Yuppy Puppy reached out to Pam Eranian for comment who said, “Being the twentieth Facebook life is a magical experience for me and my 5 pomeranians and I’m so glad to be a part of this company. My dogs prefer the best, and I can only find the hippest clothes for them at designer prices here. It’s truly surprising that more people don’t understand the benefits of dressing up their dogs in the hippest accessories and clothing. It truly baffles me.”

The company’s store features a luxurious design complete with a dog hair salon on the premises to help create a complete look for any dog that walks through the front door. Clothing sizes range from extra small to extra large, making this store accessible to all dogs. By always posting clothes to Facebook, The Yuppy Puppy has been able to feature their new arrivals and keep their store in business thanks to customers like Pam Eranian. In fact, encouraged by this success, Yuppy Puppy is considering expanding their efforts with a new line for cats.

What did I do wrong?

1. Generic Headline

One line is all you get to draw readers in and often, companies don’t pour their hearts and minds into creating a captivating headline that will actually turn heads. Boring, expected words can be one of your biggest mistakes. So, when you’re getting ready to insert words like “gets” or “gains” in your headline, try words like “celebrates” instead.

2. Provided Lots of Background Information and Details From the Beginning

The purpose of any press release is to capture the attention of reporters, followers, or other influential figures. All too often, press releases are clogged up with nonessential fluff that might sound good but in practice, they’re disguising what matters.

Save space in your first paragraph to cover the essential facts so that readers can find why they should care, and fast!

3. Chose a Quote That Doesn’t Relate or From an Unimportant Source

Quotes matter for press releases. The quote in our sample press release is an example of a misused quote. “Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the Romance of the unusual.” Last time I checked Ernest Hemingway didn’t contribute to the company’s new development, nor did this quote communicate any new, key information about the topic of the press release! It has no meaning!

By inserting just a short utterance from a key company stakeholder or executive, you can frame your story and show the true impact of your announcement on the industry.

Don’t make the mistake of including a generic or unrelated quote in your press release. Instead, choose one that enhances your announcement, you’ll be glad you did.

4. Ended Press Release With Unnecessary Facts

All too often, companies treat the final paragraphs of their press releases as a trivia fest for their company. However, lengthy, seemingly fun facts aren’t doing anything for you.

Instead, choose details that enhance your narrative, such as details specific to how your company came upon this most recent development or service.

5. Left Out Reference Information

Don’t put reporters on a hunt for more information about your company, as this defeats the purpose of your press release to generate interest about your brand and development.

At the bottom of your press release, provide a few sentences about what your company does and where they can get more information if needed. They won’t hunt for this, so don’t make them.

So, how do you create the perfect press release? Now you know, but it’s just one piece of your overall marketing strategy. Download our awards marketing bible[2] here.

What do you do to make your press releases a success? Share your experiences below in the comments!

References

  1. ^ the press release is not dead (www.getopenwater.com)
  2. ^ awards marketing bible (go.getopenwater.com)

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