5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Press Release for a Closed Transaction
- Don’t skip the editing process. Believe it or not, spell check isn’t 100% reliable. For example, if your press release contains the dollar amount of a transaction or square footage, spell check isn’t going to catch that extra digit. A good practice is having a colleague read through it before the final version is pitched.
- Do not, I repeat, DO NOT make it salesy. Nothing is worse than reading a press release that sounds more like an ad. Avoid using “you,” “us,” “we,” and puffy words like solutions, synergy, value-added and industry-leading. If I had a nickel for every time.. well you get the point.
- Don’t forget the story. You may not be using a first person narrative, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tell a story. Keep readers engaged by complementing facts with quotes that convey an emotional reaction to the data. Self-praising press release won’t go very far, but a positively framed release about how helpful X topic was/is will probably have a pretty good chance of being picked up by your targeted publications. For example, you could write about how a transaction may benefit the community, referencing the value of the tenant or how it may affect vacancy or rental rates in the area.
- Keep it short and simple. Press releases should be the length of a single page, and no more than 400 words. Since a headline can make or break a release (check out these quote from advertising revolutionary David Ogilvy), be sure to use a news-like headline and get right to the point in the first paragraph. Follow that with an immediate connection to the topic you’d like to publicize, throw in some data from reputable sources for credibility, sprinkle in the quote mentioned in #3, and end with some boilerplate text about your company. Voila! You have a press release. A title saying, “CBC Closes Transaction” doesn’t go as far as “Long-time Vacant Building Lands New Tenant.”
- Don’t mistake the thesaurus for your best friend. We all know there’s a fancy word for just about everything, but that doesn’t mean you should use it in your press release. You don’t have to say “is comprised of” when you can simply say “includes.” Using simpler words to express an idea allows for an easy read for reporters, thus resulting in more pick up. Bonus? Search engines favor natural language; simple words = search friendly. Also, don’t rely heavily upon industry jargon. Write it so the average reader would understand.
Avoid these 5 mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to executing, I mean achieving, a successful PR campaign.
By Nicole Epps, Marketing & Communications Specialist, Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates