Search Engine Optimisation Brisbane  Website Design Brisbane  Website Marketing Brisbane  Contact SEO Brisbane  Press Release Help  Google Reputation Management Brisbane

Top 50 Mistakes Made in a Press Release

The following is from my book on how to write a press release and get real media coverage. If you want a heads up when the book is ready for download, send an email to: dominic dot mapstone at gmail dot com

  1. Don't use sentences with more than 25 words.
  2. Don't try to squeeze it into one page, there should be white space for the journalist's notes and double line spacing is often used.
  3. Don't omit an answer to each of these questions: who, what, when, where and why.
  4. Don't forget to write 'Exclusive Release for [media outlet]' if you offer a story exclusively.
  5. Don't con yourself in any release that the journalist isn't the smartest most switched on person you will ever submit something to - don't be arrogant or underestimate them in the slightest.
  6. Don't over-optimize or keyword stuff your release.
  7. Don't write 'STOP THE PRESS' or 'NEWS FLASH' on it.
  8. Don't use sales language or openly pimp something.
  9. Don't use exaggeration words like: cheapest, best, unique or quickest.
  10. Don't attach unreasonable restrictions or demands to the release.
  1. Don't ever be dismissive or underhanded about a rival or competitor in a press release, either deliver a full on assault or cut the crap and leave it out.
  2. Don't repeat yourself restating the facts again or differently.
  3. Don't bullshit or lie or exaggerate.
  4. Don't forget to clearly attribute quotes.
  5. Don't get someone's title wrong.
  6. Don't forget to date the release.
  7. Don't use underline, italics, bold, odd font sizes or any fluff in the presentation of the text.
  8. Don't leave a question you don't want to answer begging to be asked.
  9. Don't use puns, slang or word plays.
  10. Don't make up or distort statistics.
  11. Don't use ridiculous headlines.
  12. Don't submit junk for any reason, your reputation as a source is on record and on the line.
  13. Don't have any incorrect spelling, especially people's names.
  14. Don't put your company name in capital letters.
  15. Don't boast about your company or products, save it for the backgrounder.
  16. Don't constantly repeat the company or product name (one mention is sufficient).
  17. Don't use clichés like 'he had an axe to grind.'
  18. Don't submit a photo without a caption.
  19. Don't send the release in the body of an email, attach it in a Microsoft Word or PDF file.
  20. Don't use judgments or inferences… talk facts.
  1. Don't circulate a press release for discussion or review internally without clearly marking 'DRAFT - NOT FOR RELEASE' on it.
  2. Don't use unnecessary words like: altogether, totally, first and foremost, or very.
  3. Don't use abbreviations.
  4. Don't use overly technical terms without explanation in footnotes.
  5. Don't roll more than one press product into one page, e.g. new page for backgrounder, new page for media opportunity.
  6. Don't forget to number each page.
  7. Don't forget to write '~more~' at the bottom of a release that goes on to another page and '~ends~' at the end of the body of the release.
  8. Don't forget to include the name, title and contact details of the media spokesperson available for 'further comment' at the very end of a release.
  9. Don't write conversational or personal notes for the journalist in a professional document like a release.
  10. Don't forget to write: 'Photo Attached' if you are supplying a photo.
  11. Don't hound or harass a journalist about using your release, one call to confirm they have received it and offer to answer questions is the maximum acceptable from your end.
  12. Don't ignore a journalist that says: 'Can this wait?' or 'I'm snowed under' or 'I'm on a job'… ask: is it a good time to call, if they say no ask when you should call.
  13. Don't include more than two sentences in a paragraph. A series of one sentence paragraphs is fine.
  14. Don't ever discard the exact original of any press release you ever issue regardless of if it gets covered or how old it is.
  15. Don't jam-pack one release with more than one story or significant issue, spread the news over releases.
  16. Don't ever release anything to the press without the expressed approval of the ultimate decision maker/s.
  17. Don't recycle already published quotes in a new press release.
  18. Don't write a press release more than three pages, two is preferable.
  19. Don't argue a case, present facts and quotes.
  20. Don't be shy, the media are starved for new and interesting quality content… they want to hear from you.

It's dead easy to get media coverage and links from high trust newspaper websites. I've been milking the media for free exposure and links since 1995.

Last year, the free exposure I received in newspapers, magazines, on radio and TV would have cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars if I was paying for the same amount of space and airtime as an advertiser.

I've written 20,000 words so far explaining how to do all this, but haven't finished it yet. If you want a heads up when the book is ready for download, send an email to:
dominic dot mapstone at gmail dot com

© 2010

Search Engine Optimisation Brisbane