As a writer, most press releases make me cringe when I read them. I feel like my soul dies a little bit with each one that I read. The simple fact is that most press releases are painfully difficult to read. Here are 5 reasons why.
- They offer nothing that’s truly newsworthy—It seems that many people have forgotten the original purpose of the press release—to share news. These days, companies crank out press releases at a feverish pace, but they rarely have any true news to share. Sending out a press release that you’ve added a blog to your website really isn’t all that interesting to anyone outside of your company. Before you write a press release, ask yourself honestly, “Who cares?
If you don’t think anyone else will care to hear your “news” then it’s probably not worth sharing.
- They’re littered with buzzwords—I swear, some companies must use this B.S. Generator to write their press releases, because they’re brimming with buzzwords like leading, implement, best in class, innovative, end-to-end, and revolutionary. I HATE BUZZWORDS. They’re pure B.S. that carries no real weight.
- They include lifeless, uninspired quotes—Take a look at just about any press release, and I can promise you it will contain a quote from a company executive that adds absolutely nothing to the story. The quotes used in press releases are often pre-manufactured, buzzword-laden, repetitive nonsense that offer nothing new or no insight into the issue being discussed.
- They’re little more than an advertisement for the company—Remember how I said the purpose of a press release is to share news? News is the keyword here. News is supposed to be factual and unbiased. It’s not supposed to read like an infomercial for your products and services.
- They’ve become a slave to the search engines—Several years ago, search marketers began to realize that online press release distribution could be an effective tool for link building and increasing search rankings. So, the press releases started coming out in droves, laden with keywords in the headlines, subheads, links, and body. The quality of the average press release declined even further because companies were solely cranking them out to satisfy the search engines.
Do you still send out press releases? Are you guilty of any of the above transgressions?