7 reasons journalists don’t respond to your press release

By Veronica Gordon

1. Your motivation was wrong

You wanted free promotion or advertising. You didn’t care about news. You just wanted a journalist to promote your project, service, product or event, otherwise known as a “puff piece”. Send one too many of those and you’ll end up on the “Spam” list!

Next time, find a real story or pay for advertising.

2. You used too much jargon

You know everything about your job, project and community. You freely speak to your peers in words and terms specific to your field. It’s a ‘language’ that others outside your field won’t understand. So why did you use it in your press release? A journalist won’t be interested in your story if they don’t know what any of it means.

Use simple words.

3. YDEYA

YDEYA (You Didn’t Explain Your Acronyms). You littered your press release with acronyms and didn’t explain what they meant.

Always define them, because a journalist doesn’t have time to decipher the names, terms or places.

And they shouldn’t have to.

4. Your story was dull

Face it. Your story was dull. Before you write a press release or pitch a story, ask yourself “Who cares?” Would anyone else care about this story? If the answer is “No”, consider WHY people should be interested in it and then rewrite.

If you then can’t think of a ‘Why’, it’s a not a story, scrap it!

5. You didn’t offer a case study

You wrote a press release praising your work or project. That’s just your opinion, and that’s bound to be positive. You need to include a “case study”, the voice of someone impacted by your work or project. Add their story and statement.

Better still, have a case study who is happy to be interviewed by a journalist and note that in the press release too.

6. Your statistics weren’t accurate

Whether you misinterpreted the data you based your story on, or wrote a wrong statistic – a typo – then your story is not credible. You might not think the latter is as serious as the first, but it’s enough for a journalist to refuse your story. Each factual inaccuracy weakens your story.

Check everything before hitting “Send”.

7. Your story was old news

If your story’s subject matter happened a few days or a week ago, then it is old news. Instead, keep your stories current and timely. Never take a few days to write a press release for something that is happening now, or today.

Write it and get it out right away.