The 10 Worst Topics for a Press Release

If you’ve recently pitched a press release that didn’t go over as well as you hoped it would, you’re probably wondering what went wrong.

You had a snappy title. You incorporated keywords. You were short, clear and to the point. You made sure the content was well written. Why then, did your press release fall flat? The answer to that is probably a lot simpler than you might think: You didn’t share any real news.

The entire point of a press release is to highlight pertinent, relevant and up-to-date news that your targeted audience will be interested in. If your press release failed to do that, well then that’s the reason why it didn’t get the attention you hoped it would.

Believe it or not, there are topics that are pretty much guaranteed to make a press release fall flat on its face. Here’s a look at 10 of the absolute worst topics to focus on for a press release.

  1. An update to your website. Unless you are a retail giant and there has been major news about your website – it crashed or you’re announcing the launch of a feature that will completely and totally change the way your customers interact with your site – the likelihood of anyone caring about an update to your website it pretty slim.

    Announcing the update to an existing website or the launch of a new one really isn’t newsworthy information. Why? – Because it’s pretty common in today’s business world. In fact, it’s expected. While you might be tickled about the new update or new site, chances are that your audience really isn’t going to care too much.
     
  2. A Sale. While it’s important to let your audience know that you are going to be having a sale, announcing it through a press release really isn’t the right way to go about it. While it’s important announce a sale, sales really aren’t newsworthy. In fact, you’ve probably had quite a few in the past, and if you haven’t, you probably will have more in the future. Moreover, sales are extremely common across virtually every industry. That’s why publications have entire sections that are dedicated to announcing sales.

    Instead of using a press release to let the public know about a sale, try doing a blast via your email marketing list, or sharing it on social media.
     
  3. copyright: sebra @ fotolia.com
    copyright: sebra @ fotolia.com
    The Launch of a Kickstarter Campaign. Kickstarter is a great tool for both new and existing businesses. It’s an awesome way to let the world know that you have a new idea for a business or a product that could be extremely useful. With that said, however, announcing a Kickstarter campaign via a press release isn’t really a wise idea. Why? – Because as wonderful as a campaign may be, you’re asking others to give you their hard-earned cash. That’s not exactly newsworthy.

    While you want to let people know that you have launched a new campaign on Kickstarter, the best way to go about doing so is announcing it on social media, via your website our through your email campaign.
     
  4. A recent hire. Yay! You’ve just hired a brand new employee! While that may be newsworthy for your company, it isn’t exactly news that the rest of the world is going to really care about; unless, of course, you’ve hired someone who is super recognizable, say, Mark Zuckerberg, for the social sharing site you have created. And even then, unless this new hire’s presence is going to make for earth-shattering changes for your targeted audience, it probably isn’t going to be viewed as a really big deal.
     
  5. Expanding your team. While hiring a new team is more newsworthy than hiring a single employee, it still doesn’t make for a good press release topic. Unless your expansion is going to be large enough to host a job fair and could potentially offer dozens of people employment, it probably isn’t going to be a big deal to the public at large.
     
  6. How incredible your company is. Sure, your company may be amazing, but it isn’t exactly a topic that’s right for a press release. It will seem like you are being boastful, and your press release will be viewed as nothing more than a promotion for your business. Press releases aren’t supposed to be promotional; they are supposed to share valuable news.
     
  7. Unproven facts. That’s kind of an oxymoron, isn’t it? Unproven facts. The fact that they are “unproven” certifies that they aren’t “facts.” Falsified claims or claims that aren’t based on solid facts are a dangerous topic for a press release. Moreover, they are dangerous to share on any other platform. They can do real damage to your reputation and your credibility, and they could end up virtually crushing the success of your business.
     
  8. Participation in a trade show. It’s totally understandable that you are excited about your participation in a trade show; however, it isn’t exactly newsworthy. Trade shows can be huge and your booth could be one of literally hundreds, which means that hundreds of other businesses will be participating in the trade show; not exactly news. A better idea is to focus a press release on the new products that you plan on unveiling at the trade show.
     
  9. A retirement. It might be big news for your business that a long-time employee is retiring, but for the rest of the world, it isn’t exactly anything new. Employees retire on a daily basis. It’s a normal and expected part of the business world. Now, if you are announcing the retirement of the CEO who founded your company from the ground-up and that person will be replaced with another notable CEO, then maybe that’s a worthy press release topic.
     
  10. A mediocre award. Congrats! You’ve been named the best brewery in your local area! While that may be news for your general region, it isn’t exactly something that is worthy of being shared in a press release. If you won an award for the best brewer in the nation, then that’s an entirely different story.