How to keep sales messages out of your press releases


24th January 2023


Jessica Morgan

Reading time

3 minutes

Stack of newspapers - sales

Let’s be clear – a press release is about something you’re trying to get coverage for, and this may well be a product or service you also want to generate sales for.

However, it’s the job of the release to inform and engage, setting everything out in a way that makes it easy (and desirable) for a journalist to write a news story about it. It’s not the job of a release to sell a product or service through using “salesy” or commercial language.

What do you mean by “salesy” language?

By sales language or commercial claims, I mean something along the lines of “Ours is the only solution you’ll ever need”. Or “That’s why it’s our product is the first thing you should turn to”. Language that makes claims that aren’t factual or can’t be clearly substantiated.

Editorial news stories are designed to give the audience something that’s interesting and relevant to them. They’re not designed to sell your product. That’s where an advertorial or an advert comes in. There’s more about the difference between PR and advertising on our blog.

How do I avoid creating a dry or dull press release?

The job of a skilled PR consultant or PR consultancy is first to establish what the news angle is (and even if there is an angle). And then to create a release that will work for your target publications.

It might seem like bold commercial claims make a press release more interesting, but actually, they’re the last thing a journalist wants to read. The easier and quicker it is to get your point across, the better.

We’ve written about creating press releases for every kind of business under the sun in our blog.

Where can I share my excitement for my product or service?

Your excitement can still come across in the release (it’s all in the way it’s wrapped up, as above). But if you want to talk about how you’re doing better than you would ever have imagined in your wildest dreams (and that’s a really valid thing to say), that’s where the quote comes in.

Your quote is everything you want to say in your own words. It should reflect your thoughts and capture your tone. You can either write it yourself, or you may want a PR consultant to write it for you. But either way, it’s where you can really express yourself and not feel as constrained.

The same approach is true of comments you make for an article or longer opinion pieces you write for press purposes. They should also be non-commercial. They’re a chance to share your knowledge and expertise, not your sales messages.

There’s more about writing a press release – including a simple template to follow – on our blog.