Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't Make This Common Press Release Mistake

I do a lot of press release makeovers, helping entrepreneurs, authors, and nonprofit organization communicators find and highlight the news in their announcement. More often than not, the biggest problem is that the news release writer puts himself at the center of the news, not the product or service. When this happens, the press release uses a format that goes like this: "I'm doing this, here's why I'm doing this, it's really interesting that I'm doing this, here's my life story."

The format you want to use is more like: "Here is the news. Here's why you care about this news. Here's some information about the person/business/organization behind this news."

When thinking about how you will approach your next news release, focus on what will be of greatest interest to those reading the news (your target audience), not on yourself. Sure, it's cool for you that after retiring from a corporate career you started a consulting firm. But that's common. It's not news. What is news, perhaps, is how your business model is built around the zen practices of Buddhist monks, that your office is in a treehouse, or that you specialize in consulting with military veterans.

In most cases, we are not the news. It's what our company does that makes news. I'll be posting more tips later on how to write a news release that works, so come back soon.

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