Press release do's and don'ts... from the press perspective

Posted by Kent Osborne on

Your business probably issues press releases.  If this is in the form of attaching a word document with a subject line they're doing it wrong.

I see good press releases every day, and I don't see good press releases every day.  How it's delivered to me matters tremendously as to whether I'm going to read it or not.

It happened again today - I got 2 press releases from other South Dakotans, one right after the other.  One I read, the other got the heave-ho.  And it was all presentation - not how well or poorly the press release was written. 

Consider this. If you send me a press release and it's blank, other than an attachment, it's going straight to the dumpster.  I don't know WHAT that attachment is or what it's going to do to my computer.  And here is the kicker... it doesn't have to be that way!

It takes a simple copy and paste from word or any other word processor into an email, and you don't have to subject the reader to opening an attachment.  And here's the other big kicker... if I've got an outlook preview pane going - and I usually do - you just showed me your press release!  I'll take a peek before deciding how to act on it.  But if you send me an email with barely a subject line, and a blank body with a word attachment I'm not even curious.

Here was the very next press release:
do this!

Jeff does a great job writing this release. He asks me to consider his release, provides art, and thanks me.  Then boom... there is the release - ready for me to cut and paste - I simply cannot unsee it.  It's true - there is an attachment.  But it's small, and a jpeg. 

I've seen huge mutiple attachments.  This is a bad idea.  IT departments limit the size they will allow to pass on to their employees.  Simply adding the supporting materials - large photos for print, PDF's, etc. via a web link from your website or dropbox.  You're still asking me to open a link - but this is really the only way to pass on large amounts of photos and other documents.

As far as the actual writing of the press release... I can't say it any better than this article from the pros.


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