Hints on Writing Bad Press Releases

Great little post by Teresa at Microsperience about how OSS and BSS press releases are hard to interpret.

I’ll plead guilty to many of those crimes myself.

My day job involves writing PR from time to time, as Product Manager/Marketer at Aria Networks. My occasional extra-curricular work on this blog involves reading a lot of PR. And much of it is very difficult to digest (more so the latter than the former, I hope).

One positive change I’m seeing is in companies trying to be more ‘social media’ savvy. The jury is still out on whether Twitter, Facebook, et al are useful tools for B2B marketing (as all OSS/BSS marketing is), but a side-effect is companies adopting a more casual and readable style in their copywriting.

I’ve spent many years writing long rambling product datasheets, slide decks and technology papers. Writing short, interesting copy is a whole different skill (one I’m still learning). My advice? Get some back-to-basics tips on writing: Check out Mark Shaw’s book.