Whether you’re a business owner, manager or the director of a non-profit organization, you have a story to tell. You’ll likely use a number of vehicles to deliver that message to the public, including issuing a press release.
While relatively cheap and easy to produce, the press release remains one of the most valuable marketing tools out there. A well-written press release can gain the attention of the media, resulting in publicity for an organization, but a poorly written one may have the opposite effect.
Let’s say you have a start-up business and want to announce your grand opening, so you write a press release and distribute it to the local media. It will be one of the hundreds that news outlets receive each day.
So how do editors choose which ones to run? First, the content must be mistake-free. If it’s not, it will be automatically tossed to the side. It must also be newsworthy and written in the correct journalistic style.
Even if you’ve dedicated a lot of time and energy into a news release, if it’s not well-written, it won’t get any attention. At that point, all of your efforts have been in vain.
For a non-profit, a bad press release might cost an organization one of the few opportunities it has to get publicity. For those that cannot afford to advertise – which is most of them – it can be a major setback. A cash-strapped non-profit might only have one good shot at telling its story, so it’d be a shame for it to lose out because of something that could have been easily fixed.
In some of the worst-case scenarios, a poorly written news release might actually do harm – and cause some embarrassment.
The Internet has really changed how news releases are used. Nowadays, shrewd organizations post their news releases online to gain greater search results, which makes good writing even more important because journalists are no longer the only ones reading them.
If a business posts a bad press release, it could be a disaster. From a customer’s perspective, if a business can’t produce quality writing, how could it produce a quality product? It may sound unfair from a business owner’s perspective, but it’s the way many customers think.
More importantly, a poorly written news release could cost a business its chance to make a good impression. If it’s a first impression, it might be the only one some customers have of that business.