Really Bad Press Release Examples That You Should Be Ashamed Of

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In the US alone, there are now nearly five public relations pros for every single reporter. Do you know how many press releases they get every week?

Hundreds. And every email they choose to open gets less than one minute of their attention.

What do you do to get the undivided attention of your media contacts? You do your homework. You know the basics of media pitching. You avoid press release mistakes at all costs.

Everyone is allowed to have a bad day. But some of the (really bad) press releases that you’re about to see should’ve never been created.

There you have it: bad press release examples to learn from.

Bad press release example #1

bad press release example: Ricoh

Why is this press release bad?

A printer as a key enabler of agility and innovation? Really? This headline is so unbelievable, that it’s hard to see that it got through even the idea stage, let alone probably spending £5-10k on the research.

Ricoh is a decent company, they make decent printers. But no one thinks print is a ‘key strategic asset for growth’. It’s a classic example of trying to be headline-grabbing without thinking of the value of what that headline says about your company. 

It’s a treasure trove. Nothing in the release supports the headline. 3d printing is mentioned without any context. Totally bizarre.

Get your facts straight and keep it brief. Besides, this press release is simply way too wordy. Its format could be more attractive, too.

Bad press release example #2

Press release with grammar mistakes

Why is this press release bad?

Grammatical errors in a press release imply a lack of professionalism and will certainly disqualify you in the eyes of any journalist. The journalist who shared this email online underlined only the most egregious errors. Just look at how many of these you’ll find throughout the text.

Try to do a spell and grammar check on your press release several times. Have it proofread sentence-by-sentence by one of your teammates to correct spelling and grammatical errors. Or hire a professional proofreader.

Grammatical, linguistic, or spelling errors reflect badly not only on you but also on your employer or the client you’re representing. Plus, when quoting someone, include his or her full (and real!) name. This is how it works in the real world.

Bad press release example #3

bad press release example

Why is this press release bad?

There’s no need to say much when you look at the email received by David Byers, who writes on extortion, tax frauds, and related topics. Just go to the storm in the comments section under his Twitter post and simply see for yourself.

Bad press release example #4

At Prowly Magazine, we receive plenty of (bad) pitches. There was a time when only poor contributors wanted to write for us. I’ll never forget the one who, in his response to my request for some sample texts and links to social media profiles, sent me a link to his page featuring a photo of… Tom Cruise.

Here’s another example of a bad PR pitch.

bad press release example global child tv

Here are some of the questions that popped into my mind while I was going through this email:

  • How are airlines related to Prowly PR Software?
  • When are you going to stop going on about yourself?
  • What’s in it for me?
  • Models, actors, influencers, celebrities – seriously?

Trust me, if the addressee of a press release or email pitch like this one doesn’t keep a separate folder for peculiar correspondence, your message will be placed in the trash in the blink of an eye. Especially with a title as vague as this one. Let alone the rather wordy ad, trite phrases, and dull content.

On the flip side, if you’re looking for great examples of press releases, check out our article “25 Press Release Examples by Type (Plus Free Templates)”.

Last but not least

Bad press release masterpiece

Don’t get forced into journalistic exile and avoid becoming infamous by being featured in Twitter accounts such as this one. Read quality sources on PR-related topics, grow your skills, subscribe to Prowly Magazine, learn how to write effective crisis press releases, and take feedback from journalists seriously.

Craft great press releases based on good examples

And the real frosting on the cake: two guides to walk you through using the AI Press Release Generator for the best results, as well as for writing and pitching press releases with AI.