Actually, that’s not the question, at least not the question I get asked. Surprisingly most of my clients who are writing their own press releases simply believe that it does, and they painstakingly draft their press releases, making sure to include a witty-verging-on-cheesy intro, and they pepper them with a lot of buzz words and professional sounding phrases to say something that could’ve been said in just a line or two.
Here is the ground-breaking secret about press releases: It doesn’t really matter how it’s written, it’s about what’s in them.
It really is that easy. Because, (here’s another secret) the reporter is going to take it and mumble to himself, “Cut. Cut cut. Cut. Don’t need that. Your new product helped you double revenue last year. Blah, blah, don’t need any of that. And cut.”
And 85 percent of your hard work gets thrown out. It’s true. Most of the time a news source will not publish your press release as is. Reporters rewrite them. That goes for whether they are just including a little “blurb” about your business or whether it’s a story. It will be rewritten.
What we really want to see is that all the facts are there, contact information, the who, what, where, when and why. And more importantly tell us why it matters to readers.
Now let me get back to the initial point of this post. Does spelling and grammar count in your press release? Of course. But in the sense that it makes you look more professional and you will probably have more of a likelyhood of being taken seriously. Will a misspelled word or misplaced preposition matter? Not really. So if you are drafting a press release yourself don’t sweat it. Get the important facts in there, make it look as presentable as possible and remember what matters most is actually getting it out there. So do it.