Avoid Being a Press Release Horror Story

Press releases can be a great way to spread the word about your company’s exploits and news. However, they also have the potential to backfire horribly if you’re not careful! Most bad press releases get ignored or tossed in the trash, but occasionally one makes it through the gates. In this case, you may have gotten in over your head!

Why? Because not only was the press release bad, the information contained within is either misleading, TMI, or just plain wrong.


Your current promotion involves a big treasure hunt for your loyal customers. It sends them all across town in a fun game that also offers them free items and discounts on future purchases. So you set about writing up a great press release about it.

Unfortunately, you finish writing the press release before all the details have been finalized. As a result, it has several places mentioned that may or may not participate now.

This confusion will cause some major headaches down the road for everyone involved – especially those customers roaming around town looking for clues! While some are still able to solve the puzzles and get the promotion just fine, others are angry they were misled by the whole thing.

Always make sure the facts are backed up on your press release. Verify everything before it comes out or it will cause big problems!


Ah, the classic overshare. Now, TMI (or Too Much Information if you didn’t know) doesn’t have to be something degrading or awful you put out to the world. It can simply mean you’re just putting way to much info in the press release and it may damage the overall message.

For instance, your company just suffered a major economic downturn and is letting several members of the staff go. You don’t want to let your customers think the company is going to fold, however, so you try to come up with a good angle.

To take pressure off the company, you try to include as many good things that have happened over the years. But instead of giving confidence, it comes off as a cheap ploy or desperate grasping at straws. The customers leave anyway because you were giving out way too much information. Try to be more succinct in your press releases – if it seems extraneous, it probably is!


Giving out wrong information in a press release can not only damage the relationship you have with customers, it can land you in court!

Say you’re running a promotion soon that gives great discounts for certain items. Unbeknownst to you, those sales items have similar item numbers to other products. As a result, you accidentally print the wrong numbers.

Come sale time, quite a few people are going to be more than a little miffed when they come in to your store and can’t find the items listed. They may even report you for false advertising, which will really land you in hot water!

Again, always be sure your press release is accurate in every way, shape, and form. Otherwise, there could be some very real consequences.

What’s the worst press release story you’ve ever seen?

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

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