There was one item on the list that caught my eye and it was:
10. It’s riddled with jargon.
So, this post will focus on jargon. Yes, your press release is full of important information, but filling it with jargon like cell suicide and oncogenesis, will turn off most reporters. Why? Because most reporters don’t know what terms such as, cell suicide or oncogenesis mean. If they don’t understand theterminology you use in your release, they may move on to another press release.
Yes, there are reporters who specialize in science news and will know that cell suicide means cells that are programmed to die (hands and feet are examples of cell suicide, since most people don’t have webbed hands and feet) and that oncogenesis is when cancerous tumors start to form. The thing is, most reporters don’t have the time to look up what obscure terms mean. You have to make it easy for them to understand what your groundbreaking news is all about.
Of course, there will be times when you can’t substitute a simple word for a complex one. That’s when it is important to explain (the way I did) what the term in question means. The press release can’t just be a “Hey, look at what cool stuff we are doing!” item that you send to the media. It has to have information that the reporter can turn into a news story. If a reporter can understand what your information is after one read of your press release, the more likely it is that he or she will turn it into news about your organization. (Which is the reason why you sent the press release out in the first place.)