Writing a press release isn’t rocket science — but when you don’t do it on a regular basis, it can be a bit challenging. But with the right tools, you can avoid any pitfalls and make your press release writing a lot easier.
Before we look at the tools that will help you to create better press releases, let’s focus on some of the major mistakes you should avoid in your writing.
The 4 Culprits of Sucky Press Release Writing
Euphemisms are innocent words that we use to replace ones that might be more offensive. A great example would be replacing “She died” with “She passed away.”
In press releases, this kind of word play could raise more questions than answers — or just seem blah. This could be problematic for journalists. In the end, if a press release is too confusing or just plain boring, it is tossed aside in favor of a more straightforward, engaging option.
This term, often used in poetry, uses exaggeration to make a point. A common way that this works its way into press releases is to endow human characteristics to a product to make it more appealing. For example, “It’s so intuitive that it knows what you’re thinking before you do.” It definitely catches your attention, but often comes with a healthy dose of skepticism.
In the end, it’s better to leave hyperbole to the poets. When writing your press release, don’t exaggerate anything. It will only harm your reputation as a trustworthy source. Give it to them straight, with no overstatements.
3. Industry Jargon
Outside of your industry, few if any will understand your lingo. For instance, if you’re not plugged into the business world, will you understand what “core competency” or “buy-in” is? Chance are no — and you’re not going to want to google every unfamiliar term you come across.
So skip the jargon and focus on making your press release accessible to everyone, inside and outside your industry.
We can basically boil this term down to nonsense. This is when you use pretentious terms that weigh down your press release. “Streamlined technology.” “Precision targeting.” “Innovative design.” At first, these terms may look flowery and attractive, especially to a marketer who is trying to hype up a product. But when you’re reading a press release, it just gets in the way.
Now that you know some of the hazards to avoid in your writing, let’s talk about some of the free PR tools that can help you make your press release the best it can be.
8 Free PR Tools That Help When You’re Writing a Press Release
This tool makes it easy by giving you helpful suggestions for spelling and grammar — and keeping a running tally of mistakes so that you always know where you stand. It also integrates with most writing programs and apps.
Looking for another editing tool? This one might be more to your taste — especially if you’re more visual and want more detailed correction.
The Hemingway Editor color codes each grammar and spelling mistake as you go so you can see exactly what’s wrong and how to fix it. From run-on sentences to adverbs that could weaken your sentences, it has helpful suggestions to improve your writing.
It’s easy to fall into a word rut — using the same word over and over again. This can be dangerous when it comes to press releases. if you do it too much, your audience will likely notice and lose interest.
This tool goes beyond a simple thesaurus — it can look up words based on their definition. For example, if you enter the phrase “speak softly,” it gives you such options as murmur, whisper, coo, etc. This allows you to avoid redundancy and spice up your press release with new words that engage your audience.
Cliches can add a whimsical touch to your writing. But when you write press releases, cliches can get in the way and muddle your main message. After all, you want to differentiate your company or yourself in a release.