Coverage in your chosen media is never guaranteed, unless you pay for adverts or advertorials. We thought it might be useful to explain a few reasons why your press release might not have been used.
There are some key steps you can take to ensure your press is given the very best chance of getting covered. We will help you with those too.
Here are our top 7 Reasons Why Your Press Release Did Not Make the Cut…
Sometimes it can just be down to timing and that is completely out of your hands. If a big new story breaks or a journalist is on deadline with a bigger story, or they just have too many stories in their inbox, or they have covered a story similar to yours earlier in the week… these are all reasons why your release might not see the light of day.
2. Lack of Newsworthiness
Newsworthiness, what a great word. A one of the factors why your release may not be used. Journalists are busy and they have not got the time to go hunting for a story in a badly written ‘press release’ that has buried the lead at the bottom of the page. They are unlikely to get that far. If your release is excessively promotional, then they are unlikely to get past the first paragraph. They are not looking for adverts.
Find a good news angle and you will be putting yourself ahead of the crowd. You might want to take a look at this post – 19 story angles for a press release. It might give you some inspiration.
3. Poorly Crafted Press Release
Burying the lead at the bottom of the release fits into this category too, but if you have a well written release that tells the story clearly and concisely, you are much more likely to get them to read it. You need a strong and attention-grabbing headline, a powerful intro paragraph and you need to have told the whole story really clearly in the first three paragraphs.
The rest is there to add colour, details, life and context if a journalist decides to move forward with the story. If you can grab their attention and get them to read the first three paragraphs, you are probably there.
4. Bad Imagery
This probably won’t be the sole reason for not getting covered, but having a strong image to accompany the release will make you stand out from the crowd. Don’t use a logo or an image with lots of words in it. An image with a person that tells the story of your story would be the ideal.
5. Too Advertorial
We covered this briefly in the poorly crafted press release section, but it is worth a revisit. What you believe is an amazing piece of news for your business or organisation is not necessarily a great story for a journalist.
Too many companies are too focused on how they want to tell the story and as a result will create what is effectively an advertorial – many pages of promotional rubbish. It will be spiked. It is really important to put yourselves in the shoes of the journalist or get an expert to write the release for you. Trust them when they come up with an angle that is more newsworthy, but not necessarily how you saw the story originally. It is more likely to get coverage.
6. Lack of Information
You must give yourself the very best chance of getting coverage. Cover all the bases. Don’t give the journalist anything further to do. Give them all of the information they need in a clear and concise manner. If they have to try to get in touch with someone from your company to get basic information that has not been included in the release, they may just not bother. Remember the Ws. Who, what, where, why and when. If you cover all of these, then you should have most of the information the will need included.
It is really common for businesses to write press releases using complicated and technical language and jargon. This makes it very hard for people to really capture the strength and value of the story. If they have to fight through lots of jargon, they will lose interest very easily. Even if you release is going to specialist journalists, you still need to make sure the story is obvious. If it is not going to a specialist audience, then you MUST make sure that all technical language and jargon is removed or your story will be spiked.
If you would like help getting your release into the very best shape for distribution to journalists, then our team of experienced journalists and PR consultants could help you by writing the press release. Find out more about our press release writing service here.