Do your press releases pass the smell test?

Any good journalist has ‘a nose for news,’ and it’s acutely conditioned to sniff out BS. Follow this guidance to keep your missives credible and avoid wasting everyone’s time.

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Time and again we’re seeing press releases that are either vapid or unbelievable (in the worst way).

A press release isn’t supposed to be an advertisement. Even if it were, you still want people to believe what was written.

Journalists and bloggers are gatekeepers to an audience. Like the security at a bar or club, they filter and curate who comes in based on the brand and audience they want to cultivate.

Ever wonder why your press releases don’t result in your getting beyond the velvet rope at certain clubs? If so, ask yourself these two easy questions:

1. Do you believe your own PR?

2. Do you think journalists are stupid?

Your answers should be “yes” to the first and “no” to the second.

However, a quick search of the newswires (and an informal survey of journalists) reveals a different answer.

Think about those friends who overshare the mundane on social media—the constant updates on Facebook or incessant foodie pics on Instagram. Like those annoyances, frequently distributing press releases that lack merit or plausibility can alienate journalists and cause them to hit the unfollow button.

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