5 ways to make your press release a snoozefest

If you want to bore journalists instead of entice them with news from your organization or client, these missteps can ensure you’re on the ideal path—to getting ignored.

Do you wake up itching to read a boring press release? Probably not.

More likely you want to find out what market leaders are doing in the way of innovation and expansion. Too many companies craft boring press releases that offer zero value, even when they have a trove of news items that people do want to hear about.

Here’s how to guarantee boring press releases and missed opportunities:

1. Write about non-newsworthy items.

A press release should cover a newsworthy topic or item of interest to audiences outside your team or company. It needn’t earn a spot on the front page of a major news publication. However, it should be something highly relevant to your industry that will garner excitement.

2. Say the same things over and over.

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A well-drafted press release has a central theme or point, but it shouldn’t be repeated ad nauseam. A professional writer should be adept at fleshing out new information on a given topic. It’s OK to talk about a website launch, a re-branding and a software product launch in one release—if they are all part of a new company vision, for example.

3. Make it all a quote.

This is a common, lazy trick. It happens when PR pros don’t have enough “meat” or are under pressure to include a lot of subjective information. A release should include quotes from key players, but one quote after another with no context in between can fatigue readers. Alternate quotes and analyses of the change the announcement brings.

4. Talk only about the “what.”

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Answering, “What happened?” or, “What is this about?” is only part of the story. Your release should explain “why this matters” or “why the reader should care.”

If your team moves to a new location, don’t just discuss the move. Discuss why you relocated and why it’s exciting or interesting. Is the new location in a hip part of town with trendy restaurants and a view of the water? Clients care, because they’ll want to visit an office in a cool area.

5. Don’t provide resources.

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If your press release takes up two paragraphs and offers no additional resources or materials, it’s boring. Include links to other websites, social media channels or videos. Even simple things such as contact information advance the story and help readers to access more information.

Jeremy Durant is business principal at Bop Design.

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Topics: PR

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