While press releases are still a great way to gain exposure, sometimes PR pros take them too far. Even the toughest editors weep when they see yet another press release that should have never been written, much less actually sent.
Before you waste your time writing something that will never see the light of day, consider whether what you’re sending is newsworthy.
Yes, everything about your company is important to you, but it’s not important to everyone else. Most of your organization’s events aren’t interesting to the average person, so you’re better off waiting until something major comes along.
Here are three types of press releases you should never write:
1. Company shuffling
Did an executive move to a new department? When the CEO left, did someone step up or did the company bring in someone new? Did a long-time employee finally make it to an esteemed role?
Before you write the press release, stop and think, “Would I want to read this in the paper over breakfast?” If the answer is anything less than “Absolutely!” you’re better off waiting for something else.
Did a celebrity take over the company, or does the new executive want to take the company in a drastically new direction? If so, write about it. Otherwise, readers outside of specialized industry publications probably will not care.
2. Moving locations
If your store has a regular flow of people who aren’t direct customers (like a brewery, perhaps), then you may want to make an announcement about your move. Otherwise, avoid this pitch.
I’ve seen e-commerce shops try to announce moves before. What’s the point? Nobody cares because they’ve never visited your physical location and never will. Editors will just roll their eyes. Again, if the news doesn’t directly affect readers, they will skip it.
It’s fun to take digs at rivals—almost cathartic. However, when it comes to press releases, you don’t want to do this. Not only do you come off as petty, but you could end up sparking an increasingly negative series of press releases that will hurt your brand in the long run.
Besides, press releases have a fairly strict format: Add all the relevant information you can, spice it up a bit and send it out. Digs about your competitors don’t belong in there. If an editor even allows the press release to go into the paper, he or she could edit out that section, anyway.
A version of this article first appeared on PR Fuel.