Anyone Can Write a Press Release

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter

Given the appropriate details, anyone can write a press release, however, not everyone should write a press release.

Too often when companies try to DIY their press releases rather than have a public relations professional write it, their message gets lost.

Here are the most common mistakes that we see with DIY press releases:

  1. It isn’t actually news. If you’re going to ask for the media’s attention, you need to actually give them something, that something is news. If you inundate an editor with press releases that don’t contain news, you’ll do more to damage the relationship than build it.
  2. It isn’t written in a useable format. Press releases need to be written in AP Style; it makes them incredibly simple for the media to use.
  3. It’s a sales pitch. Sales pitches are not press releases.
  4. It puts the important information last. When was the last time you actually read to the end of an article?
  5. It assumes the reader knows anything about you upfront. A press release came across my desk once that was announcing a new tool and relied so heavily on the tool’s brand name, it never actually told me what the tool is used for.

Press releases are a valuable public relations program basic that when done well can earn you media coverage and help build relationships. Don’t assume that just anyone can write a release well.

Press releases have changed over time, here’s a quick look at the Modern Press Release.

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