“Why Press Releases Fail”

Most press releases are immediately filed — in the trash can. There are a number of reasons your "news" never makes it to print or broadcast. A few of the most common reasons for failure include:

  • The "news" is not newsworthy.
    Press releases are not advertisements or an outlet for bragging; they are supposed to be announcements. Only mention your products or services as background information for "the story."
  • It’s too long.
    Brevity is best. Keep your press release limited to one page and get right to the point.
  • The headline is boring.
    It won’t grab the readers if it doesn’t grab the editor. Make it punchy, big and irresistible. Example: "New Process Is Revolutionizing U.S. Manufacturing" is far superior to "ABC Inc. Spends 10 Years Developing New Manufacturing Process."
  • The content fails "the test."
    Does your press release contain an angle that pulls at readers’ heartstrings? Or does it offer a useful tidbit that readers can put to good use? Information must either elicit an emotional reaction in the reader or have a real-life application.
  • It’s dated.
    If you can’t distribute the release in close conjunction with the event, don’t bother. There’s nothing more worthless than old news.
  • It’s irrelevant.
    Get the right release to the right organizations. Distributing your release to an inappropriate editor will diminish that editor’s attention to your future releases.
  • Missing contact data.
    Editors do not have time to look up phone numbers or wade through a voice-mail maze to find you. Make it easy for them to contact you.

Writer: LeAnn Zotta is a strategic-marketing consultant in Yarmouthport, Mass.