You want your press releases to be lean and mean. All muscle, and no fat. If a celebrity story in the paper is a sugary snack, press releases are healthy power bars that boost your business—or something like that.
To get to that point, look at your most recent press releases. Undoubtedly there’s some extra weight you can trim off to increase your chances of getting published. Remember, journalists and editors work with limited space, and readers don’t want to read an epic novel about your product release or new CEO.
Here are two things you may have included in your last press release that you should cut immediately:
Example: “Our groundbreaking, award-winning, mind-blowing new Hydrolux 5000 will literally melt your brain with how quickly it cleans your gutters!”
The main objective of a press release is to inform. Sure, businesses use it to announce events that are exciting to them, but a press release’s primary job is to spread information to the masses in a straightforward fashion.
Adding unnecessary adjectives and hype is against the point. First, no one’s brain has ever literally melted while watching gutters get cleaned. That’s too much hyperbole for a press release. Second, is cleaning gutters really “groundbreaking” or “mind blowing?” Probably not.
On the other hand, if you’ve won awards and are actually “award-winning,” describe that in detail. That’s not hype; that’s news that is relevant to the release, and explains why people should take time to read it.
Example: “The Hydrolux 5000 is the latest in a line of gutter cleaners that includes the Hydrolux 4000, the Hydrolux 3000, and the Hydrolux 2000. The original was the Hydrolux 1000, and was created in 1914 by Edward D. Hydroluxen in Boise, Idaho, at his family’s ranch.”
It’s possible to add too many details to a press release. While the point of the press release is to inform, your readers won’t care about every detail you include. You want every detail to be as relevant and juicy as it can be.
Before you started writing the release, you hopefully considered whether your information was newsworthy enough to write about. Take each sentence of the release into similar consideration. Would you care about that detail if you were reading about another company? If not, cut it.
In the example above, the previous versions of the Hydrolux are unnecessary. The last line might be interesting, though, as it appears it’s the company’s 100th birthday. That’s likely to be big news, and could tie into a celebration you’re throwing this year. If not, though, it might bore readers and cause them to skip over the exciting parts of your press release.
Are you guilty of including boring details or needless hype to your press releases?