Write better news releases: Avoiding mistake #2

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This is excerpted from an article I wrote for Tactics, the newspaper of the Public Relations Society of America.

Writing—and issuing—ineffective news releases wastes your money, time and energy. You also lose opportunities to reach people who stand to benefit from using your product or service, attending your event, signing up for your course or simply tracking your organization’s news.

 The good news is, you can boost the effectiveness of your news releases by understanding and fixing—or, better yet, avoiding—common mistakes. A clear, tightly written news release helps you get your point across to the people who matter most.

Here’s how to avoid (or fix) a common mistake in news releases.

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Mistake #2. Sounding commercial.

You may have seen them before: News releases that read like brochures, sell sheets or ads. Shocking as it may seem, editors and news directors are not interested in promoting your business.

How to fix it: Focus on news.

A news release serves to publicly “release” your news, whether it concerns a new product, service, event, accomplishment, business deal or other information. Include why it’s important to your audience. Delete excess adjectives, unsupported claims and other promotional language.

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Check out Mistake #1.

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