When writing a press release, do you find yourself whipping out the thesaurus now and again? Think the average adjectives to describe your business just aren’t doing it so you right click on a few words in order to spruce it up? While your high school English teacher may have been impressed with this, your readers are not.
In fact, you may be right clicking your way out of getting any readers at all!
Instead of “fancifying” your press release, stick to the language you know and already use. It comes off as more genuine. Plus, splattering multisyllabic words around your press release can appear like you’re trying too hard.
Increases Your Chances
Let’s pretend you’re an editor at the Local Times. You desperately need a great press release to fill up some space on Page 4 so you send an intern to look at recent emails containing press releases. He or she walks over toe the computer to check them out and pulls up yours you sent earlier that day.
Now the intern’s instructions were to find a nice, simple, easy to read press release. When they try to read yours, they instinctively reach for the dictionary. It reminds them of being in school and editing countless papers their professor told them to “whittle down.” They then pass you over.
You want to increase your chances of getting into the publication or on TV or whatever as much as possible. Keeping in mind most Americans read at a 6th or 7th grade level, throwing in complicated words and phrases will make them skip your story.
Kills Problems Before They Arise
By some miracle your press release slips through and gets printed in the following day’s paper. You’re super excited about your luck when the phone rings. A customer saw the press release and is incredibly angry and wants their money back.
Apparently your press release conveyed the idea to this customer that all your old products are totally useless. Since they just bought one of your old products they are very mad and demand a refund. You try to explain all you meant was the new product was the best ever, but they don’t care.
The more confusing your language is the more problems you’ll encounter when readers get confused. This can lead to the above scenario or much worse if you accidentally offend somebody.
Leads to Cleaner Press Releases
Space is always an issue with press releases. You only have so much room to cram as much info as you can without going overboard. Why would you want to make this harder on yourself by including tons of super long words and ridiculous grammar?
When you use simpler, everyday language in your writing, you inadvertently free yourself from some of your other issues. Suddenly you have way more white space to work with so it doesn’t look cluttered. You now have room to include the address of your company AND the phone number like you’re supposed to.
Do you simplify your press releases as much as possible?
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