You followed the rules, double checked your spelling and grammar and presented your press release in a style that any journalist would be proud to call his own. But it’s not getting published – you scour the business section every day but these shortsighted editors just don’t seem to ‘get it.’

Creating a press release that sounds good is quite easy. There are thousands of ‘how to’ sites that will explain the do’s and don’ts and the expectations of editors reading a press release, but really there’s only one rule for getting exposure from the news media.

Your press release must be newsworthy.

This may sound incredibly basic, but it’s the rule most often broken by would-be publicists, and the reason that most press releases end up being nothing more than well articulated rubbish.

Media outlets care about readership. They are interested in topics that will engage their readers, or on a slow news day at least not bore them. It’s vital that their product doesn’t end up looking like a series of advertisements camouflaged as editorial. They are not interested in press releases that include –

– Your company’s new office location

  A new customer you just acquired

  A new product you’re ‘bringing to market’

Unless, these topics are newsworthy. This is where the opportunity really lies – considering current trends and topical news that may be relatable to whatever it is you happen to be doing. Awareness of what may be newsworthy, rather than reactive publicity seeking is always a far more powerful tactic. For example, perhaps you’re moving to a new office which has been custom built to be carbon neutral. Perhaps your new international customer has never worked with a business locally before and this presents additional opportunities for economic growth.

Most importantly, never confuse a press release with an advertisement. If it’s not topical and engaging, your time is far better spent crafting an ad that will get published than a press release which will end up being recycled.