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Press release tip – brevity is bad

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday March 6, 2010 )

I write for a few sites and have come across a common problem I believe really guts the power of a press release.

I start my day off scanning headlines related to specific topics, looking for a couple of stories to write on. Some days it’s easy and I pick up the stories within the first couple of minutes. Some days after scanning 500 headlines, I’m still scratching around trying to find something I think would be reasonably interesting and doesn’t require too much in the way of mental gymnastics.

On these days it’s especially frustrating to see a killer headline for an interesting topic, click through to the press release and the actual content is 75 words or less, padded out with the self-promotional “about” statement.

To me, that’s not a press release, it’s just an extended headline. Now, I’m not lazy and I will chase the story up to get more info, but sometimes that further investigation isn’t fruitful either.

If you are writing press releases in order to get broader online coverage for your company, I’m the type of person you need to impress. Some bloggers can send thousands of visitors your way through a single mention – you just need something worth mentioning and a bit of detail.

Let’s say your company just developed a new product. Instead of just using spin like “this will revolutionize the Flomble industry”, be clear on why. Details of features and specifications and what they entail are important. Some relevant industry statistics are also great. If you don’t have much in the way of content for the new product, then a bit more about your company history and important milestones helps – the facts, not just fluff.

Whatever you do, don’t issue a press release unless you have information already on your site about the product or event you are writing about. It’s all well and good for mega-corps like Facebook and Google to do “coming soon” type releases; but for the average online business, “coming soon” is about as good as “never” in terms of attracting attention.

Pick up some more tips for writing press releases


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