Exactly why News Releases Fail

My apologies about my otaku with this concern (otaku = more than a hobby, a little less than an obsession).

Many of you may know me, since I run Imediafax, the Internet to Media Fax Program. I send out over a million news releases a year for people via fax and email. You probably think that We have got news releases failing on me day in and day out.

Actually, I don’t. The news produces I write and send out for people do quite well. My clients are quite happy with me because they are successful with their outreach efforts.

It’s the draft information releases that people send to me that are my problem.

Fixing the problems I realize in the news releases people deliver me takes forever. It is also really painful.

I’ve seen a lot of online press release service failure over the years, and I now know what the key problems look like and how to repair them.

My plight as a publicist is that I spend a lot of time educating my clients trying to get them to be familiar with psychology of dealing with the media.

The rubber meets the road within the news release because this single sheet of paper is the key nexus for all communications with the media. The importance of the copy on a news release cannot be overstated. It offers to be free of negative issues or factors that will reduce or get rid of media interest and response. One particular fatal error and it’s all over.

Therefore identifying the problems and revising the news releases is crucial. I spend a good deal of time and effort trying to stay away from out news releases with difficulties still in them.

The issue is that when individuals send me news releases, attempting to takes a long, long time to identify and communicate the problems, and then more time once again to explain and negotiate all the phrase changes with the clients, and more period still to finalize the news launch and have it ready and approved for transmittal.

Honestly – it could be very painful for all involved. I am just quite brutal on my customers, since their success is all that matters. I don’t pull any punches. My comment process can bruise a lot of highly inflated egos of some otherwise very accomplished people, on the way to a problem free of charge news release that maximizes the chances of achievement when finally sent. Lots of people think they can write a news release. Few of them can do it very well.

These people simply haven’t followed the mass media response to enough news releases to learn the errors that are made when they write news releases. They don’t have yet learned what the mistakes are, so there is no learning from continuous improvement.

This is where the blood, sweat plus tears of the copywriting business is truly found. It gets even tougher when another professional publicist published the news release for the client. Right now the client is getting opposing advice from two professionals. One says “Make it Hot” and the other states “Cool it”. What’s a publicist to do?

So my motivations intended for doing this article are really quite self-centered. I want to spend less time doing this. My life will be significantly improved if my clients send me news releases that take less time and power to fix. Very simply, for each and every news release that comes in and doesn’t have these problems, I’ll free me personally to spend more time doing things that tend to be more profitable for my clients and me.

The issues listed here have all been identified as reasons for the failure of a news release. This is based on over two decades of experience in dealing with the consequences – the actual number and high quality of responses generated from the transmittal of a news release.

So here are the most typical reasons why news releases fail:

1 . You wrote an advertisement. Not necessarily a news release at all. It sells product. It fails to offer solid news of real tangible interest, value-added information, education or entertainment.
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2 . You wrote for a minority, not for a majority of people in the audience. You simply won’t compete with various other news releases that clearly are written for a larger demographic of the media audience.

3. You are the center of attention, not the media audience. You focus on your business and your marketing and advertising, instead of things the editor and his or her audience will be interested in.

4. You forgot to put the particular five W’s up front. (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY THE PARTICULAR AUDIENCE WILL BE INTERESTED). You failed to clearly and succinctly tell the media why the audience would be interested in this.

5. You are too wordy and text dense. You focused on details and minutia, instead of the most important ideas, issues, factors, specifics, and news angles. You neglect to address the real significant impacts your story has on people.

6. You place too much information on one page – the one page news release has a font size so small an publisher needs a magnifying glass to read it.

seven. You included corporate logos as well as other non-persuasive low value added graphics that distract the editor out of your key message. You may have also utilized an unusual fancy font or a file format that turns to gobbledygook when it goes through a fax machine.

6. You wrote a personally biased article for the media to publish, rather than pitching the idea to the media as well as the objective reasons why the media audience will be interested.

9. You wrote about features and facts, and forgot to explain what it means to genuine people. Tell a story about actual people. Add in real life human attention.

10. You wrote about how your own news ties in to someone else’s popularity and glory. Forget it. In no way stand in the shadow of someone else. Make your own light. Tell your personal story.

11. Your news release responds to something that just happened. Most likely too late. You’re behind the 8 ball. Forget it. Get out in front of the news.

12. You included a lot of hype, self-laudatory praise, pithy rates, useless testimonials, jargon or gobbledygook. Get rid of it.

13. You may have furthermore identified prior media coverage, which indicates it’s no longer a new problem. Get rid of it. Let each news release stand on it’s own two feet.

14. You tried to impress and be clever or innovative but you come off naïve, less than expert, biased, flippant, arrogant, or crazy. Tone it down. Get straight.

15. You made vague and unsubstantiated claims, or wild and outrageous claims, or else you included a statement that basically rubs the media the wrong way. Get rid of them.

16. You are trying to be different, just for the sake of it, but you come off eccentric. Forget it. Avoid create a false or inflated picture. Be yourself.

17. You had written a rant and rave, worthy of a letter to the editor, rather than problem solving tips article, worthy of a feature story. Decide what you want, put your best effort into it.

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