Do you make these mistakes with your press releases?

Good press releases can be worth their weight in gold. A bad press release is as valuable as Fool’s Gold. Be sure you don’t make these blunders when you write your media release.

1. Bury the lead – People want to know what the story is about. Right now. A press release isn’t a suspense novel. Don’t save the best for last. Put the good stuff up front.

2. Boring – Would you read something that sounds like corporate speak or bureaucratese? Neither will a reporter. Neither will a prospect.

3. Too cute – You might love puns but most people don’t get them. Punt the puns. See what I mean? Leave them out.

4. Incorrect keywords – Search engines read press releases and code them on your keywords. If you don’t have the right keywords, your release will never be found on the search engines. Use a keyword tool to find out what people are searching for and put those words into your press release.

5. Too many keywords – Search engines hate when you use too many keywords. How many is too many? As a rule of thumb, if the press release reads like the way people talk, you’d be fine. If you think people talk like this, then you need a good editor: If you need document management software, you should review our document management software because it is the best document software you can find, according to experts in the document software field.

6. Too salesy – Press releases don’t have to have earth-shattering news but they shouldn’t be blatant sales pitches. No one likes reading those and that style won’t help you with reporters, readers or search engines. Tell your story. Hold the hype.

7. Unrealistic expectations – The press release is one step in a marketing campaign. If you are in business for the long term, then you shouldn’t have any problem with this. Don’t expect your phone to ring off the hook. Don’t expect 100 reporters to call you on day one. Don’t expect your search engine rankings to go to page one on Google. Don’t expect your prospects to instantly fall in love with you. But if you write press releases and post them to your website and send them out over credible news wires to the media, you will eventually reach all those goals. Be patient. Be persistent.

8. Sending out only one press release – You can’t hammer a nail with one swing. You can’t expect to nail hundreds or thousands of reporters or prospects with one press release. You have to send one out every month. At worst, send them out once a quarter.

9. Sending out too many press releases – Unless you are Microsoft or Apple, you don’t make so much news that you need to send a release out every few days or once a week. Too many releases would start to work against you with search engines. They like to see steady, incremental increases in content. If you put too much stuff out there too fast, they get suspicious.

10 Not following style – When you see a poem, you know it is a poem. It has a certain style and format. Same with a press release. If you don’t have the right elements in the right order, a reporter will toss out the release because she’d know you were an amateur. Make sure you have contact information followed by a headline. Then put in a dateline consisting of the city and state where you are located, the date of the release and the first paragraph. Follow with the body of the press release and close with an “about us” section where you do get brag a little bit and tell your company history. End with “30” or “###” on a separate line and center it. Why? Because it is style. If you don’t know what I just wrote, hire a good press release writer who can save you time, money and your butt.

If you avoid these 10 deadly sins of press release writing, you very well could make more sales, get more prospects and have the world beat a path to your door.