If you're in business, there's a good chance that you've seen one of these. It's a news release that starts off with phrases like "We are pleased to announce..." or "This week..." or even something along the lines of: "We will be releasing our newest product on [some date in the future]." These types of press releases tend to be long and boring, which makes them hard for people to read. That said, they can still work if you write them correctly and know what kind of audience your message is aimed at.
Mistake #1 -- Failing to understand the difference between an ad and a news release
The first mistake you'll probably make is failing to understand the difference between a news release and an ad. A news release is factual information about something that happened in the past, which can be used for future stories about that topic. An ad, on the other hand, is meant to sell you on something—like how your favorite brand of toilet paper will make your life better or how much more fun it is when you're traveling with friends!
A press release should never be used as an opportunity for selling products or services because this means that someone’s telling others what they want him/herself (in most cases). In other words: It's not just about informing readers about something new; it's also about promoting yourself—which means there will be no reason why anyone would choose yours over another company's offering when compared side by side!
Mistake #2 -- Failing to put yourself in the reporter's shoes
Make it easy for reporters to find the information they need.
Write a good headline.
Use active voice instead of passive voice, and avoid jargon or slang in your text.
Break up long paragraphs with lists if needed (e.g., "For example," "In addition," etc.). Don't use too many words!
Mistake #3 -- Not checking facts thoroughly
The third most common mistake that writers make is not checking facts thoroughly. This can be a big problem for businesses, as it's easy for mistakes to slip through the cracks and end up costing them money.
To avoid this, check all of your facts before you submit your press release or article to the publisher—especially if you're quoting someone else (this applies even more so if they're interviewed). Make sure that the spelling of names, company names and addresses are correct; double-check phone numbers too!
A press release can be a great way to share info about your business, but only if you do it right.
A press release is a great way to share information about your business with the media. But it only works if you do it right.
A press release is not an ad: It doesn't pitch products or services and it should never be used for that purpose. It's also not a sales pitch; the main purpose of writing a press release is to inform, educate and entertain readers about what's happening in your industry or field of expertise—not sell them something!
Remember, there are many more mistakes you can make with a press release. Don't be fooled into thinking that one or two of them won't hurt your cause. They will!
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