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Promoting your business to the press can be a tough, time consuming task and without the right knowledge there are a number of mistakes you can make. Here are a few of the top PR mistakes and how to avoid them.

Using only free newswires

The lure of free press release submission service is always great but really these services offer little to no value. Most don’t let you link back to your website which makes useless when it comes to using press releases for SEO, and it’s very rare that journalists look through the free submissions for a story.

If you want to quick and easy way to reach journalists, use these services but be willing to pay.

Targeting the wrong journalists

If you have a technology press release there is no need to send it to your entire press list of interiors, fashion, technology and environmental press. Pick and choose the journalists who would be most interested in the story you’re trying to tell. You’re going to get a better result from targeting five journalists with personal emails and phone calls than you will from sending out a generic email to hundred of irrelevant journalists.

Not following up

Journalists are busy people. It might be that they see your press release but don’t have a chance to act on it. Make life easier for them by giving them a quick call to see if they need images, quotes or further information. This is also a good chance to gauge whether or not they intend to use the story.

Not presenting a story

A press release should be telling a story. It should be something interesting enough that a journalist can pick it up and not have to do too much with it.

Make sure you have a story with a great hook. Don’t expect a journalist or editor to delve into the history of your business to find their own story, they won’t have time for that.

Making your press release too long or confusing

Keep to the point and don’t make your press release too long. Make sure someone can get an idea of the entire story by reading the first paragraph of your release. From there you can expand on it. If possible, keep the release to one page and no more than two. Include a notes to editors section if you need to give a bit of background on your company.

photo credit: Stephan Geyer via photopin cc

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