6 Surefire Ways To Guarantee Your Online Press Release Bombs


With the right elements in place, your online press releases will gain traction in the search engines, engage your audience, and build awareness of your business. Every piece you distribute should be written with these – and possibly many other – goals in mind. The problem is, there are several mistakes that can sabotage your efforts. I’ll describe six of them below. Consider the following a provisional map that reveals common landmines on the way to writing and distributing an effective press release.

#1 – Ignore Your News Angle

Every successful press release is based on a story, announcement, or news item. The best of the lot incorporate all three. The angle does not need to be momentous to warrant a press release. It simply needs to convey information that is new and interesting to your audience.

For example, did your company recently win an award? Are you sponsoring a community event? Have you brought a new partner aboard who is poised to introduce your business to a new segment of your market? These are a few of the countless angles you can take in writing an effective release.

#2 – Let The Writing Quality Slip Through The Cracks

Your press releases should be written professionally. They should be devoid of misspelled words, grammar errors, clichés, slang, and needless capitalization. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners let the quality of their writing slip in order to push a larger quantity of releases out the door.

Slow down. Write in a professional manner. Do so consistently to distribute an ongoing string of engaging press releases.

#3 – Hard Pitch Your Product Or Company

Your press release is not an infomercial. It is not a platform from which you unabashedly hawk your products and services. Rather, your aim is to build awareness in your market, and establish yourself as an authority. You might also want to attract media attention, build backlinks to your website, and generate online sales.

These goals are achieved by building and maintaining your credibility. If you hard pitch your company, your credibility will suffer.

#4 – Stuff Keywords Into Your Piece

Optimizing your online press releases for the search engines is important. It helps them rank in the organic listings so they’ll gain more exposure, and attract more search traffic. However, over-optimization is worse than no optimization at all. Avoid the temptation to stuff too many keywords – or the same one too frequently – into your pieces. Not only will your PRs be less readable, but they might be penalized by the search engines.

Your title should contain your main keyword. Your summary should contain a couple more. The body of your document should contain two or three additional keywords. Set aside other keyword phrases for a subsequent press release.

#5 – Bore Or Confuse The Reader

You are not writing an essay. Press releases are short and to the point. You have a limited amount of space with which to draw the reader in, present your angle in the most interesting manner possible, and impart useful information. This is a lot of ground to cover. There is no time to gain momentum.

Start strong, and present your case in the first paragraph. Then, fill in the details within the body of your press release. Where possible, economize for brevity.

#6 – Neglect To Attribute Opinions

You might think your products are better than those offered by your competitors. You might also think your company is superior to other companies in your space. It’s tempting to make such bombastic claims in your online PRs, believing that doing so will persuade your audience. But even if these things are true, why would readers believe you?

Rather than telling others how great your products and services are, include quotes from notable authorities. For example, suppose you operate a financial planning firm. Being named in Money Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Financial Planning Firms of 2010” is far better than claiming “We’re the best financial planning firm in the business.” One carries credibility; the other smacks of self-promotion.

To create online press releases that generate results, avoid the six mistakes above. Be vigilant. The long-term success of your PR campaign may depend upon it.

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