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Press Release Editing Tips from GlobeNewswire Editors

Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 10:00
Press Release Editing Tips

Accuracy and timeliness are critical factors in distributing your releases, and West's GlobeNewswire editorial team has advice and editing tips to address many of the common errors they see every day. Every member of our team of experienced editors reviews thousands of press releases each year, correcting and formatting earnings and other release content for our clients. Their advice can help you improve your editing skills and accelerate turnaround, reducing the time our editors need to polish your release and ask clarifying questions.

Here are 10 press release editing tips from our experienced GlobeNewswire editorial team:

1. Headline:  NO NEED TO SHOUT. Headlines in all caps aren’t pleasing to read (and they don’t meet our style guidelines). Make sure your headline uses the case style in which you would like it to appear in the published release.

2. Contact Information:  Believe it or not, many releases are submitted to our editors with no media or company contact information―a requirement for all of the releases we distribute. If you want to be the go-to source for information, you need to make it easy for journalists to get in touch.

3. Date and Time:  Double-check your calendar to ensure each date and day of the week match. We often see this error when clients use a template from a previous year’s release. Also, make sure you reference the correct financial quarter. Hosting a conference call? List the correct time zone, keeping seasonal changes (e.g., daylight savings) in mind. Want to play it safe? Skip EDT and EST and stick to ET instead.

4. Punctuation:  Is there a period at the end of every sentence? Are you using single quotation marks to set off a new term and double quotation marks to indicate a quote? Punctuation errors are the most common and easy to overlook when you’ve already read through ten drafts of the same release. TIP: Use the “Find” function in Microsoft Word to search for quotation marks to ensure you have an even number.

5. Spelling:  It may seem obvious but with so many brand and product names eschewing traditional spelling, and with careful attention needed for proper names, your spell checker may not drop a squiggly red line to alert you to an error. Carpenters say “measure twice and cut once.” Do the same with your spell check before uploading your release.

6. Source Attribution:  Is your company name in the headline and first paragraph? It’s important that the source of the release is clear, especially when more than one company is mentioned in the release. Several downstream media partners have asked us to pass this recommendation along to our clients to make it simple for readers to identify the issuer of the release and to enhance credibility.

7. Style and Tone:  Corporate communications have become more conversational for many businesses that are eliminating jargon in their marketing and PR. Think twice, though, before writing your release in the style of a blog post. It’s important that your news reads like news—and not an advertisement—especially if it’s being distributed to major news outlets. You should present facts and relevant information, and write your release in the third person.

8. Images, Video and Multimedia:  You want journalists to use the media you provide, so make sure you’re providing high-quality images and video clips. Logos or pictures should be saved at a minimum resolution of 100 dpi. Be sure to include a title and caption for each image and upload them as separate files rather than embedding them in a Word document with your release copy. There are no restrictions for video file sizes. A very important reminder: if the images and multimedia assets you use are not your own, be sure you have permission to use them. To learn more about using video, download our white paper, Using Video in Press Releases.

9. Formatting and File Type:  Once your release is ready to go, upload it as a Word document or .rtf (Rich Text Format). A PDF isn’t an acceptable file type. If your release will contain a table, don’t take a screenshot of a table and attempt to embed the image (it won’t display well); our accepted table types are Word and Excel.

10. Test Your Phone Numbers and URLs:  For each of the phone numbers and URLs in your release, including the contact information, it is very important that you test each of them by calling and clicking. Test the phone number(s) on your release, even if it’s your line. And check your URLs, too, before submission.

Keep this list as a handy checklist as you draft and prepare to submit your next press release for distribution―attention to detail and best practice can make the process more efficient. Contact us today to learn more about Press Release Newswire Services from West. 

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