Earlier this year I wrote a post about writing effective press releases (you can read it here). Several people asked to see examples of good and bad press releases. Instead of relying on my own judgment (which is pretty good), I asked a friend to help me. He’s been in the newspaper business for twenty years, plus he spent six years working in public releations. I asked him to send me examples of bad press releases and to explain why they don’t work for him (i.e. he doesn’t contact the person or organization for a follow-up to write a story).
Let’s start with this one – too busy, too confusing, and too hard to find the contact info. Don’t make your media contact work for your information.Cooks-Nook
This next one has the opposite problem – not enough information. What kind of art? Are these local people? Why is it at a brewery – are these really artists or patrons? And where’s the contact information? (A QR code does NOT count.)
And then there are the word documents. Not as flashy, but they can be as equally difficult to understand and navigate. Take this one, for instance. A press release should focus on one event – there are so many things listed here that it’s hard to know which event is the most important/most newsworthy. And again … where’s the contact information?Leelanau-Peninsula-Wine-Trail
And finally, this one. Technically this release has all of the important information. Unfortunately, the different color and style fonts scream “high school girl!” Not to mention the bad formatting and typos. This is a press release that might get an editor’s attention if nothing better comes along, but the unprofessional presentation will make many people hesitate.BUSINESS-BREAKFAST-CLUB-2015
So what does a good press release look like? Check this out.Mesick-Museum-PR
When I met Deb, she’d been trying – unsuccessfully – to promote events at the museum for more than a decade. Knowing that I’m a writer, she asked me to help her put together a basic press release that might get a newspaper editor’s attention. I wrote this for her, gave her a template, and walked away. Within in a month she was on the front page of the Local Living section of the local paper, as well as appearing in several smaller, weekly papers.
Make the most of your press release. Keep it simple. Keep it informative. And for the love of all the wine in France, don’t forget your contact information!