1. Lack of focus. Many writers try to cram too many themes into one message, with the intent of appealing to multiple audiences.
2. Unnatural writing. From the “speed bump” that starts many press releases (for example: “Company Name, a global innovator and provider of world-class end-to-end turnkey solutions for ….”) to stilted quotes from execs declaring their excitement about some sort of mumbo-jumbo, many press releases are the antitheses of natural, interesting writing.
3. One-dimensional formatting. Many news releases are written as though they’re going to be read off a sheet of typing paper, and not a fluid and interactive environment.
4. Too many embedded links. Before you go on a linking spree after being inspired by item No. 3, please heed this caveat: A link or two in a press release is great, but too many links in a body of text can have dire consequences for that content’s visibility.
5. No visuals. The importance of visuals in PR campaigns and press releases really can’t be overstated, but the majority of press releases issued over commercial newswires today are still plain text, even though multimedia press releases generate better results.