Catherine "Cat" Seda

Monday, May 14, 2007

What's Wrong with Your Press Release?

Don’t write your press release like a press release.


What I mean is, write your press release like an article.

If you think “press release” you’ll write something that’s all about you—not newsworthy. If you think “article” you’ll write a story journalists salivate over.


Read the Q&A below first (from my May newsletter).

Next, read Stacy’s first press release here

Then read her final version here


I saw you speak at the Entrepreneur “Women in Charge” Conference and was so excited that I got home and wrote my article and submitted it to PRWeb... only to realize that an article was not what PRWeb really wanted. Now I'm confused. I wrote an article that was not a sales pitch. But now PRWeb says they want something more of an announcement or promotion. Could you please take a quick moment to review the differences?

~ Stacy Nelson, Co-Founder of


(Here are my five favorite tips I shared with Stacy. Happily, her new final version was just approved by PRWeb!)

* Use an Attention-Grabbing Headline

“Networking With Wine: 5 Easy Tips to Turn a Wine Tasting Party into a Monthly Business Club” is too long. Sell the result first. A wine tasting party sounds fun, but a monthly club sounds like work. Consider announcing the club idea a bit later. What about “5 Tips to Turn Wine Tasting into New Business” or something like this?

* Write a Summary that Sizzles

The summary is a sentence or two that should persuade readers to read on. You’ve got a good one; it’s just a bit soft. Shorten it up and tell me how a wine club can help me NOW.

* Create Creative Tips

Rework the 5 tip titles to be more mysterious. You want people to say “why?” or “how?” Some titles like “Choose a Day” seem too obvious.

* Slim It Down

Your press release is over 850 words! Yikes. As David McInnis, CEO of PRWeb, recommended in my new book, aim for 300-500 words. By staying focused you’ll keep readers’ attention.

* Only Advertise in the “About the Author” Area

Uh oh! Tip #5 pitches your wine tasting party kit. That’s not a tip. You can absolutely pitch your product; just do this in the “About the Author (or Company)” area.


Whadda think? Go check out Stacy’s old and new press releases, then share your comments. She’s got a great product. What info could she share that would attract YOUR attention?



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