Why News Releases Fail and What to Do About It

August 2004
by Paul J. Krupin

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The rubber meets the road in the news release, because this single sheet of paper is the key nexus for all communications with the media. Copy has to be free of factors that will reduce or eliminate media interest and response. One fatal error, and it’s all over.

Identifying the problems and revising the news releases is crucial. When clients send me draft news releases, it often takes a long, long time to identify and communicate the problems, and then more time to explain and negotiate all the word changes, and still more time to finalize the news release.

So my motivations for doing this article are really selfish. I want to spend less time on revisions, and therefore I have drawn on more than 20 years of experience in dealing with the aftermath–the actual number and quality of responses generated by a news release–to identify the most common reasons news releases fail.

1. You wrote an advertisement. It’s not a news release at all. It sells product. It fails to offer solid news, valuable information, education, or entertainment.

2. You wrote for a minority of the people in the audience. Other news releases that are clearly written for the majority of this audience will win out over yours.

3. You are the center of attention in the release. You focus on your business and your marketing, instead of on things that the editors and their audiences will be interested in.

4. You forgot to put the five W’s up front&#15…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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