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Press Releases: Do You Make These Mistakes When Writing Press Releases?

Last month was a great month for my new Guaranteed Press Release program. 30 clients wrote press releases that I edited and then sent out to the media where they were printed on many sites that led to high search engine rankings and lots of traffic back to their sites.

After editing so many press releases, I realized many people made the same mistakes, over and over. Here are the top 11 mistakes that you can avoid when you write your press releases:

  1. Headlines were too long. Although there aren’t any rules about exact word length, if you go beyond one deck of headline using 14-point type, you’d better have a good reason.
  2. Headlines that buried the keywords. Writing headlines these days is as much for attracting the attention of Google as it is to attract the attention of reporters. Here’s a formula to follow: Key audience achieves key benefit when using/reading your product/book. For example: C-level Executives Get Greater Employee Retention When Following Advice in “New Book Title” or “C-Level Executives Get Greater Employee Retention When Following Advice from Employee Expert Jill Smith.”
  3. In the headline, use Title case, that is, the first letter of each word is capitalized, except pronouns and articles. If you don’t know what a pronoun or an article is, then hire someone to write your press release. Do not use all upper case in the headline.
  4. Every press release needs a “dateline” to start the first paragraph. The “dateline” consists of the city and state where you are located and the date of the press release. Then follow with a dash and the first paragraph. For example: Excelsior, Minnesota — January 24, 2011 – C-Level Executives can get better…
  5. If you use quotations, and you should, start the paragraph with the quotation. Don’t start it with “Dr. John Smith said, “C-level executives can get…” It’s more impactful to start with a quote.
  6. Watch your punctuation at the end of a quote. The proper punctuation is that the comma goes before the ending quotation mark. For example: “C-level executives can be more productive,” said D. Jill Smith.
  7. You can put links to your pictures, videos or additional information. You can lead people from the press release to your website.
  8. When you do put in links to your site, use them as hyperlinks so when people click on the link they can go to the page you want them to see.
  9. Also, spell out the link in case the site that prints the press release suppresses the actual link. For example: For information about publicity, go to Dan Janal’s Guaranteed Press Releases,
  10. Put highly searched terms into your press release and link them to your site. For example, “Publicity strategy is an important part of a marketing campaign.”  In this example, “publicity strategy” is the term I want people to click on. If you do research on what keywords people are looking for on Google, and you put those links into your press release, you’ll have a great chance of being found on the search engines. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you should hire me to write your press releases so they will be found on Google and get you more traffic.
  11. Don’t use italics, boldface or underlines. Newspapers and media web sites don’t print those fancy characters, so you can build some rapport with a copy editor by not putting in elements that they will have to remove.

If you follow these tips, your press releases will do a better job of getting publicity for you.

To Your Success!

Dan Janal

P.S. For more information on the power of press releases, please check out my special report on “How To Get Printed On Top Tier Media” at

How to Write a “Top Trends for 2011” Press Release

Now’s the perfect time to write a press release announcing your predictions for the coming year. Your readers and your prospects like to see what thought leaders like you think will happen in the coming year.

Here are 10 tips to write a “Top Trends to Look for in 2011” press release.

  1. List 10 trends or thoughts or ideas that you think are likely to happen.
  2. Explain why each is important.
  3. Offer a short story or anecdote that illustrates that point, if you can. You don’t need to do this for each tip, but it is a good way for people to follow your train of thought.
  4. Add a bit of humor. One humorous prediction is always relished. In fact, if you have a cool wit, the entire press release could be done with tongue in cheek. People love to pass around funny material, so this press release could go viral.
  5. Show why you are the expert to write this piece. Refer to your consulting, coaching or books. That way you subtly market your services so you can get new business.
  6. Keep the press release to 750 words or less. People don’t have a lot of time to read long pieces. We are in the midst of a period in which people have shorter and shorter attention spans. So your press releases and articles need to be shorter.
  7. Use key words in the headline and first paragraph to grab the attention of search engines. People use search engines to find companies like yours and products like yours. If you do you use the right keywords, you will have a lot more qualified prospects reading your press release and visiting your site.
  8. Put links to specific web pages into your press release. For example, you could lead people to your home page, your squeeze page, your blog or your sales page. Or all of them. Use your links wisely.
  9. If you don’t have time to write this, find someone who can. The chance for positive exposure is great.
  10. Post the press release to your blog. Share the link with your followers on LinkedIn®, Facebook and Twitter.

If you have trouble writing this press release, let me know and I’ll write it for you – as well as brainstorm if needed. Then I’ll send it to top news media outlets and vertical market reporters. I’ll even guarantee that at least 40 media websites will print the press release or I’ll give you your money back.

Want details? Please see or if you are ready to start NOW, call me at 952-380-9844.

To Your Success!

Dan Janal

Become A Publicity Thought Leader With A “Year in Review” Press Release

Wondering what would make for a good press release at this time of year? How about writing a “Year in Review” press release for your industry?

A Year in Review press release would encapsulate the top 10 or 12 news items or trends in your field. When you write this kind of press release, you will be seen as a thought leader in your industry. It is an excellent public relations strategy.

To find the top news stories of the year, you might want to do research since most people can’t remember what happened when. I know I can’t. So I would suggest you look at the last months of magazines or newspapers in your industry. Surely they are available online.

You can simply write two or three sentences on each major news story for the month. You might even want to offer you comments or opinions on that news as well so you get even more thought leadership credit.

Next, you’ll want to make sure your followers read the article. You can post the press release on your website, blog or ezine. Then you can promote it on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn®.

Then you can begin to pitch the media. Consider sending the article to reporters. You can find lists of reporters at or by tracking reporters via their Twitter accounts, their blogs, or the email addresses at the ends of their articles on their websites. You can also turn those articles into press releases and send them our via our Guaranteed Press Release Service where it will be printed in at least 40 media websites with links back to your website or you get your money back.

After the press releases are printed, be sure to let you followers know about your success. Send them an email or mention it in your ezine. Use a subject like “Jill Smith Reviews Top Trends in Our Industry and Gets Written up in 40 Magazines!” Then print the article in the email so people can benefit from your knowledge.

BONUS!  You’ll also get the warm glow of better branding as the media’s halo effect shines on you.

If you perform this marketing strategy, you’ll be seen as a thought leader in your industry and that can help you sell more services.

To Your Success!

Dan Janal

P.S. Want to get your business quoted on top media sites – guaranteed? Check out this special report: