The Worst Thing You Can Do with a Press Release

After writing a press release, you may be at a loss as to what to do with it. You have several options, most of which include sending it off to newspapers or other media outlets for them to (hopefully) pick up. So is there really a “bad” thing you can do with your release?

Of course there is; there are several terrible things you can do with a press release, especially one you actually took time to craft. The most flagrantly bad thing you can do, however, boils down to one thing: not taking it seriously!

They Can Tell

Newspapers and other media outlets like magazines get zillions of press releases a day. Even the smallest newspaper in rural America still gets quite a few, enough that they have to spend a portion of their day rifling through them.

Until you’ve swam through the “slush pile” a few times, it’s hard to imagine how crazy it makes you when you encounter press releases from people who clearly didn’t take the exercise seriously. Folks who just pumped out a release in a few minutes and sent it along with the assumption they would automatically get picked up.

This goes for press releases that they’ve taken time to write coherently and edit. After a point some just seem to “give up” and send it without any sort of plan. For example, they send a release about dog care to a magazine called Gardening Today “just in case.”

What happens the next time someone from that newspaper or magazine sees that company logo on a release? That’s right, they’re going to remember the last time they had to wade through dozens of their terrible press releases… then they’re going to send the latest one directly to the slush pile.

Taking It Seriously

Keeping in mind you have a very limited chance of getting a press release picked up even by your local paper, so it’s important that you treat the process as seriously as possible. After all, what’s the point in putting in all the effort if you’re just going to drop the ball at the goal line?

If you have egregious spelling errors in your press release there’s little chance you’re going to get picked up. Edit it again, even if you’re sick of looking at the thing. Get someone else to read over it even if they hate YOU. Actually, that might even be a better idea as they’ll likely be more honest when pointing out mistakes.

Do loads of research on who you’re sending the press release to. Remember that even though your company works in dog care there’s a chance one day down the line you’ll have to write to Gardening Today. If that happens you don’t want a black mark on your record before you even start, so don’t treat them like some half-baked “back up plan.” Every release you send out should have some purpose behind it.

How many press releases do you send out each month?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, 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:

Thanks for the tip. I’m working on my first press release and this tip is worthwhile in creating my first draft.


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