Is the news release dead or is the news release alive? Well that is a great question; however, the real question should be how do we get rid of the bad ones? News releases can be helpful, but a lot of the time they are abused. This week I will walking through an example of a sub par news release on behave of Inessa Stewart Antiques that I found courtesy of i-newswire.com.
This news release takes a turn for the worse right off the bat; just look at the title, "Sale on All Store Items Ends on February 12, 2011." How does that headline tell me anything? It does not tell the audience what store is having the sale, nor does it grab your attention. This story would be lucky to be opened by a journalist much less be published.
The second problem I have is the story isn't newsworthy; it is an advertisement. Very sneaky of you Inessa Stewart, but you will have to pay for your advertisement space just like every other business. Here's another hint, adding exclamation marks doesn't add excitement; it's hard to get excited about furniture...
Lastly, the copy is poorly written and not well organized. The copy goes from advertising this particular sale, to advertising the store, to advertising a specific piece of furniture, to contact information, back to advertising the store, and finally back to contact information again. In addition to the copy being all over the place, it has grammatical errors.
What we need to take away from this week's blog is that news releases need to be sent when something is newsworthy and arranged in a way to make it easy on busy journalists. The news release should consist of concise statements that are organized and easily followed. Lastly, I know I am saying this twice, but if it isn't news, then don't send it. The last thing you need is to lose credibility and hurt your company.