Newsflash—the internet is flooded with crappy content. Among that crappy content are thousands, if not millions, of worthless press releases. You know the kind. You’ve probably read a few of them when you first started writing press releases and you scoured the web looking for examples. You know—the releases that you finish reading and all you can say is, “Huh? What’s the news?”
That being said, as you start to produce your own press releases for your business, how can you make sure that you aren’t adding to the internet litter? How can you make sure that while on your mission to get people to notice your company by getting media coverage that you don’t end up writing useless press releases that no one will ever read?
Well, that’s not always that easy. But I will tell you this—the first step is simple. All you have to do is make sure that your event warrants the writing and distribution of a release.
Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Event Before Writing a Press Release
1. Will anyone care about this?
All those terrible press releases littering the web have one thing in common: no one cares what they have to say. Whatever the heck it is they are talking about, it’s boring. See, when it comes time to write a release, you need to picture your target reader. First, you need to think about the reporter or blogger who would read your release and want to cover the news. What sort of paper section or blog do they head up? Is your story in line with what they might be looking to cover? Would anyone want to cover what you’re talking about?
From there you need to think about the end user—the person you want to attend your event or learn about whatever news you have. In other words, your customer. Is that person, the one you want sending you their hard-earned money, going to care about whatever it is you’re talking about? If the answer is “No,” then it probably does not warrant the writing of a press release.
2. Is there anything new being talked about here?
When you’re submitting your press releases online, reputable sites have a few different rules and regulations. The first criterion is often that the release offers something new. This is often determined by the title and first sentence of the release. If the site content managers don’t see evidence of something new, they’re likely going to reject the release. Of course, lower quality sites will accept pretty much anything, as their standards aren’t as high; hence all those sub-par releases out there. But do you really want a link from one of those sites?
3. Have I already issued a press release about this?
People rehash articles all the time on the web to try and get new blog posts. As long as they aren’t plagiarizing, this generally isn’t frowned upon (too much). However, that’s not the case with press releases. If you’ve already written a release about this event in the past, there is zero reason to write another. So if the event has been covered, don’t hound people with a release that has the same old information. All you’re going to do is piss people off and burn bridges. The only exception is if you’re offering a new angle on the story, other than just announcing the event again.
4. When is your event occurring?
If you have an upcoming event, you need to make sure you get the press release out on time. If you have an award ceremony in a few hours that you want the public to attend, for example, writing a press release today is going to be a waste of time. Write it in advance or don’t write it at all.
On the other hand, if the event had some sort of positive outcome, it’s okay to write a release about that (even though it already occurred). For example, if you held an award ceremony and had a record attendance, you might write a release about the record you broke.
Still Think You should Write a Press Release?
If you looked at all the questions above and still think a press release is a good idea, go for it. A well written, timely press release can prove a powerful tool. What other ways can help decide if you should write a press release?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/beginnersguide.html