Overused Buzzwords Strangle the Real News

by PR Coach

You’d think we’d have learned by now not to use buzzwords in our news releases. Maybe most PR and communication pros get it but a recent post by Adam Sherk and an earlier one by David Meerman Scott show that there are still way too many buzzwords, BS and babble in news releases.

No wonder the media toss most press releases away without a second look.

But wait a minute! Surely social media releases will save us by delivering us into newsrooms? Greg Jarboe’s not so sure as you’ll see in “The 100th Birthday of the Press Release.”

The fundamentals of news releases, whether traditional or social media releases, are still critical to media coverage:

  • make sure you have “real” news for media; otherwise do a sales letter or online brochure
  • hook the media’s attention with a compelling headline
  • seal it with an irresistable lead paragraph
  • add news value with the ACE of news (action, conflict, emotion) or by incorporating something happening in the news right now
  • write competently using AP style without poor grammar, typos or errors
  • provide complete contact info, especially after hours phone, IM and email
  • be available and respond quickly; a reliable source is still appreciated by busy media.

Otherwise, your precious news release could end up sounding like this tongue in cheek news item using Sherk’s top 10 overused buzzwords:

Leading PR Expert Offers Unique Solutions to Buzzwords in Press Releases

Vancouver, BC – June 30, 2010 – PR Coach, expert and innovator Jeff Domansky said the best and most unique solutions come from learning from some of the exclusive, award-winning innovations from other PR experts….

Pardon me while I hit the snooze button along with the media. In other words, you can learn a lot from the best and worst news releases out there. Just don’t add to the babble or strangle the real news with your press release buzzwords.

Take a look at the Museum of Modern Art’s Press Release Archives where you can get an excellent sense of how good some early press releases were starting in 1929.

And, if you’ve want to revisit or refresh yourself on the latest in news releases, we’ve got more than 150 news release writing tips, distribution and social media press release tips in the PR Library.

Are news releases still useful? Do social media releases deliver results for you? Are they becoming extinct like news conferences? We’d love to hear your thoughts in comments below.

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