18 Jun 6 reasons your press release is being ignored
PR coverage for your brand is a very effective means of gaining broad reach in media where advertising costs are prohibitively high. Crucially, people tend to trust what is independently written about a company more than what a company has to say for itself. But good PR isn’t just about sharing news; it’s about creating news that resonates and inspires. It takes the best bits of your brand and turns them into zingy, buzzy and contagious stories. Then, it’s about getting these stories in front of the people that matter.
But if you’re having trouble getting the press to sit up and listen, perhaps you’re falling foul to some press release faux pas. Here are six reasons why your press release might be getting ignored:
1. You don’t have a story
PR connects businesses and people through storytelling. It’s about making the complex simple, connecting the seemingly unconnected and giving people a reason to think, speak and act.
Every company has a story to tell, it’s just about uncovering the good ones. What makes you different? What new products or services have you introduced? What statistics, trends, data or new perspectives can you offer about the industry? And remember it is people, not brands and products that your audience will relate to. So draw on real life examples and tell stories that elicit emotions.
2. You’re dishonest
When you see the words ‘prestigious’, ‘best’, ‘leading’, you assume the opposite.
People are sceptical about the latest PR stunt. Support your story with evidence, independent references and sources; if your story is credible it’s far more likely to resonate.
3. It’s poorly written
Journalists want to know who, what, why, when, in as few words as possible. They’re not looking for fancy words or clever puns, so eliminate the jargon. And proof read! Grammatical mistakes are an instant no-no. A press release should be factual, written in third person, and always tell the story not sell the story (that bit comes later).
4. It’s boring
Make the headline punchy and enticing ‘Client Does Something New’. One page maximum will do, and keep it short and sweet. Then, think about what engaging content you can provide to turn your run-of-the-mill press release into something shareable. Photos, infographics, expert quotes, soundbites, videos, give the journalist all the jazzy bits of content so they have everything they need.
5. You’re not sending it to the right person
It’s no good having a killer story that goes straight into the bin of the wrong person’s inbox. Do your research. Sending your technology story to the financial editor isn’t going to score you any brownie points, and it’s just lazy.
Keep your little black book of contacts up-to-date. Use a powerful media database (Cision is the one we use) but build real life relationships too by speaking to journalists, finding out what they want, so you can give them just that.
6. It’s irrelevant
Remember who the press release is for – the journalist, not your client. Once you’ve found the right person to send the press release to make the email or phone call personal. What is the blogger or journalist interested in? Have they published something similar in the past? Does your story fit well with what they’re writing about currently? If so, say it. “I read your interesting post on X and I thought you would like to hear the latest news from Y too.”
Tell them why this story of interest to their audience, why it’s relevant now and what section of the website or magazine it might fit nicely with. Make it hard for them to resist.