Oh the mistakes people make when they write a news release.
The copywriting errors I see every day as a publicist and a copywriter are plentiful. It can be costly to those who send news releases that contain copywriting errors since all the copywriting efforts and the cost of conducting the publicity outreach produce absolutely nothing from a media coverage point of view. In fact, it can be harmful to the company and to the publicist. A badly written news release actually produces ill will and has a negative impact on the reputation of those involved in the effort. It can also be costly to the service that transmits the news release because many media upon receipt of the offensive time wasting communication will request removal from the whole service. This hurts their future business forever since they lose so many media.
Can you learn what not to do? Can you learn how to write a news release? Can you improve your copywriting skills?
Of course you can! It does take time to write a good news release, and you must study the existing news coverage, study the experts, and practice, and improve. It is not something you do well the first time or even the tenth time. Copywriting is a specialty and is not learned overnight.
First he presents the “worst news release” he ever received and does a quick and succinct word by word analysis of what’s wrong with it. Then he ends with a two minute re-write of Mary Had a Little Lamb, as done by the alleged copywriter of the news release. It’s hilarious.
For more advice on what not to do when you write a news release and how to fix it, you can read my article Why News Releases Fail.