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5 Things to Check before Sending That Press Release

So you’ve just written a press release, and you’re ready to blast it out to your media list. Not so fast, partner. Before you send out a press release, you need to do a quick quality check to ensure it’s the best it can be.

Here are 5 simple things to check before sending that press release.

1. Your story’s newsworthiness – It’s really the whole point of writing a press release, to share news. If you don’t have an interesting, relevant story to tell, you’re wasting everyone’s time. Sure, press releases are, in the end, about getting your name out and promoting your company, but there has to be some news substance there in order to accomplish this.

If you send out stories with no news value, you’ll lose credibility, and eventually, reporters will start ignoring you. Read these tips for determining if your press release is actually newsworthy, and if you need help coming up with an interesting angle, check out this huge list of press release ideas.

2. Claims and statistics mentioned in the press release – While advertisements might be about hype, press releases and news stories are about facts. Yes, you want to write an interesting story, but it has to be unbiased and accurate. Otherwise, it’s not a news piece.

That’s why it’s so important to fact check your press releases. If you include any statistics in your press release, double check them to make sure they’re right. Then, go through your press release with a fine-toothed comb looking for any hype, unsubstantiated claims, or misleading phrases and eliminate them.

3. Its optimization – Like it or not, SEO is an important part of any press release distribution strategy. Chances are, your press releases will end up online, and if they aren’t optimized, they won’t be doing you much good.

Thankfully, optimizing your press releases is actually pretty easy.  Just make sure you’re targeting relevant keywords, including the keyword in the headline if you can do so naturally, and adding keyword-rich, relevant backlinks. Oh, and make sure you double check those backlinks to ensure they’re correct.

4.  The press release basics – You should know these by now, but let’s go over them again. These are the things that need to be in every press release you send out:

  • Headline and subtitle
  • Release date
  • Answers to the who, what, when, where, and why questions
  • Contact information
  • Brief bio about your company

5. Find the fluff – And finally, go through your press release to make sure it’s as tight and to the point as possible. Too much information can actually be a bad thing. Remember, the point of your press release is to get across a simple news story and to tease reporters into asking for more information. Any unnecessary or off-topic information should end up on the cutting room floor.

Is there anything else you check before sending out your press releases?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download a free copy of the PR Checklist – a 24 point list of Press Release Dos and Don’ts here: http://www.ereleases.com/prchecklist.html

15 Responses

  1. lisamcgrath says:

    RT @ereleases: 5 Things to Check before Sending That Press Release http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/5-things… #pr #pressrelease

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lisa McGrath, Peter Turkington, Supergilbys, Marie-Eve Dubé, Toile_des_Comms and others. Toile_des_Comms said: 5 Things to Check before Sending That Press Release http://ow.ly/35TkE (via @ereleases & @prwork) #pr #pressrelease […]

  3. […] ereleases:  5 Things to Check before Sending That Press Release […]

  4. cityassessor says:

    RT @ereleases: 5 Things to Check before Sending That Press Release http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/5-things… #pr #pressrelease

  5. Wrong! This might have been true ten years ago but things change – and thinking marketers need to periodically reexamine the rules to make sure they are still relevant.

    There was a time when “newsworthiness” was critical to press release content. That was when editors were the gatekeepers of the news and a press release was used solely as a tool to gain their interest. Today, reporters no longer hold the keys to the city of distribution and press releases (our agency now calls them “news releases”) can serve a variety of purposes: show company momentum, increase visibility, grow market share, increase web traffic and page rankings and EVEN (heaven help us…here it comes..) sell stuff! Once a heresy in the old PR bible, we are now creating news releases that include links to “special offers” and discounts…and they work (just ask WebEx and Cisco among others).

    Now would I send a “marketing” news release to a reporter? No. Would I send it to customers or post it on my website and send it out over an Internet distribution service? You bet.

    Great thinkers know the rules and know when to break them. I’ve posted several examples (http://brennerassociates.com/blog/?p=186) of rule breakers that have change the course of marketing forever. Press release “newsworthiness,” and eliminating marketing “fluff” are old rules that should be reconsidered. There was a time when the only purpose of a press release was to (as this post claims) “tease reporters into asking for more information.” But if that is the only way your communications agency is using them today, then you are missing out on some valuable opportunities.

  6. Day/Dates…always double and triple check…nothing’s worse than putting “Saturday” and realizing the “event” is Sunday, or worse you put Thursday, June 15, and June 15 is actually a Wednesday…terribly confusing and ineffective. I know that’s the whole reason for AP-style dateweek, but let’s be honest, some still do it.

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Keith R. Pillow, APR, Caddy Marketing. Caddy Marketing said: #PR Fuel: 5 Things to Check before Sending That Press Release; newsworthiness is #1; http://tinyurl.com/23ruxkr #mediarelations […]

  8. Please, let’s call them NEWS releases. Gone are the days when most media had presses!

  9. All important elements for press releases sent to newspapers, but not necessarily for other outlets. Of course, any press release sent to a customer or put online for the public could be reclassified as something else entirely. In any case, it depends on who your reader is and what you want them to do with the press release. A blogger might be looking for something different in a press release than a reporter. That’s why it’s important to cater the release to the receiver. You should NEVER send the same release out to every media outlet, just like you should never send the same resume to every employer you apply for a job with.

  10. […] recent blog post I read by e-releases talked about things you should check before sending out a press releases […]

  11. UNI_PRide says:

    RT @ereleases: 5 Things to Check before Sending That Press Release http://ow.ly/35TkE #pr #pressrelease

  12. Amanda says:

    This post is really informative and useful for public relations practitioners. Thanks for sharing this information. Having the ability to write publishable news releases is a asset to any PR pro. The format of the news release, the context of the news release, and the content of the news release all work together to make the release attractive to journalists and editors. This can seem like a difficult task at first, but your tips have given great insights into writing the types of news releases that will stand out. Thanks again for offering this information!

  13. […] the full article HERE. AKPC_IDS += […]

  14. […] much more. Therefore, old rules regarding their content needs to be reexamined.  You can read the original post here, a way earlier post specifically about new rules in press release writing here, and my […]

  15. […] – Five things to check before sending press release Ben je al bekend met deze 5 checks? […]

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