Matter Chatter

Small steps, big results: 3 easy tips for writing (MUCH) better press releases

There is no shortage of topics to explore related to better press releases. Should you use a social media news release? Who is right about style – the AP or Yahoo? These are important topics that require considerable thought, research and evaluation.

Who has time for THAT????

OK, you do need to make time for what I like to call “big thinking” to continuously improve your PR and marketing efforts over time. But there are also a million little things that can generate huge improvement in your day-to-day work NOW. With that in mind, I present the first installment of “Small steps, big results,” which (I hope) will become a regular feature on Matter Chatter. On to the tips…

For the love of all that is holy, kill the jargon!

Real people (like, the people you hope read and care about your release) hate jargon. And, if you’re being honest, you’ll admit that a little bit of you dies every time you write about “taking paradigm-shifting, turn-key solutions to the next level.”

We’ve all done it. Let’s all agree to stop. (Not sure if you’re using jargon? Here’s a good reality check.)

Use the quote(s) to SAY something

At some point, you are going to be tempted to have your executive quote start with “We are pleased / thrilled / delighted…”

Don’t do it. Ever. Really, don’t. Trust me.

The quote is the place where you can editorialize and provide context around the facts that are provided in the rest of the release. It’s also the part that tends to be pulled verbatim into news stories. Say something additive, interesting and valuable.

Give yourself a fighting chance that somebody will finish reading the entire release

Write shorter releases. That is all.

Fine…if you can’t get ’em under 400 words (additional benefit alert – you’ll save yourself some $$ on wire distribution!), at least break up the content visually by using section headers (ahem) and bullets.

Taking my own advice, I’m going to stop now. Do you have other tips? Drop ‘em in the comments!