Thousands of media and L&D professionals from all around the world have registered with Training Press Releases and regularly receive our distributions. They do so because they want to be informed of newsworthy announcements. This submissions policy exists to guide authors towards producing good quality announcements and prevent press releases that are not newsworthy or are just promotions without news value.
1. Quality, substance, newsworthiness
a. Well-written, interesting announcements help to maintain Training Press Releases' reputation as a great source of information for the learning industry's media, thus providing value to all customers. Press releases should be newsworthy: thinly-veiled advertising and un-newsworthy, self-promotion should be avoided.
b. Fundamentally a press release is an announcement and it must be written as an 'announcement' from the issuing organisation. Press releases should have a specific point to make that is likely to be of interest to the market: i.e. an announcement about what is happening and its impact. Press releases focusing on the general merits or past achievements of a company or product are to be avoided.
c. Each press release must be specifically about the issuing organization, such as its activities, people, markets, research, customer projects, services, products, etc and while it's acceptable and encouraged to include external subjects, these must not lose sight of the issuing organization and the main theme of the announcement. Blog-style posts and feature-style articles are inappropriate as press releases.
d. It is especially important that press releases are not used just as adverts. Press releases which do appear like adverts and without news value will be withdrawn. If your press release is about an event or seminar it should focus on its news value and should not just be an advert for it.
e. TPR is unable to carry press releases for individual courses or learning events, or course schedules. Prize draws, offers and free trials are not suitable as press releases. Competitions, on the whole, are not suitable unless the competition has genuine news value.
f. Releases must contain sufficient substance and depth to properly explain the news story being presented.
g. Training Press Releases is a newswire for the learning sector and is only able to carry press releases specifically about learning, training, education, coaching and other learning related topics.
h. Releases should not be overly hyped or over-stated. Authors are encouraged to make releases exciting and dramatic and to create interesting stories, but this should not be confused with hyperbole.
i. Releases must be newsworthy, offering genuine potential interest to the outside world. Authors are encouraged to pay attention to 'uncovering' the real heart of the story, which can often be missed.
j. The news value of press release must relate directly to the issuing organisation and its announcement.
k. News stories are always written in the third person – this is a fundamental requirement for all text in a press release too, (except for the text in quotations from a company representative).
Organisations issuing press releases are solely responsible for the facts and accuracy of all of the information that they contain. It should be clear what is being announced. The language and any implied assumption, perception and meaning should not contain artifice, equivocation, pretence or ambiguity. I.e. all perception (created and implied) should be true.
3. Opinion and claims
Authors may give a view about any matter, including the qualities or desirability of their products and services, provided it is clear that they are expressing their own opinion rather than stating a fact and usually these should be written as a quotation. Subjective opinions, suggestions, recommendations and advice should be avoided. Opinions should usually be written within a quotation to reflect that they are an individual's views.
Where claims are being made, authors should hold documented, objective evidence to prove the claim(s). Should a complaint arise such evidence may be requested by Training Press Releases. Claims should not exaggerate the value, accuracy, technical validity or practical usefulness of a product or service and should not contain untruths, exaggerations or statements likely to mislead. Any claims made must be substantiated and properly attributed: when claiming that something has been said or implied, the claim must be attributed to the person(s) by name.
Comparative claims about and between products are best avoided, for example saying something is 'the best' or 'better than'. However, authors may make comparative claims as long as they are corroborated with multiple, independent, internationally recognised, credible sources that are trusted by Training Press Releases, and that these sources are referenced in the press release. The level of corroborative evidence required by Training Press Releases to support comparative claims is high. Training Press Releases is unable to engage in any communication regarding its acceptance of evidence sources.
Training Press Releases will promptly deal with any complaints about press releases. When a complaint is made we will review relevant information and if upheld, request that the issuing company amends or removes the press release. Training Press Releases will use reasonable efforts to correct any error brought to its attention.
5. Duplicating news announcements
a. Each press release may be issued only once. Dressing previously-issued press releases up, or plagarizing other press release must be avoided. Do not submit different press releases with the same general content - each press release should have a unique news value and unique content.
b. Do not copy-paste chunks from old press releases and reuse them in new releases.
6. Region and category settings
Training Press Releases' registered users select which region's and which categories' news they wish to receive. Issuers of press releases may determine which regions they feel their news should be distributed in and which categories are relevant.
Regions: Issuers of press releases should avoid selecting to distribute news into regions where the news story is likely to be of no or limited interest. For example, a press release about a specific case-study project should only be distributed to multiple regions if there is a likelihood of genuine interest about it elsewhere.
Categories: The categories selected should reflect the main point of the announcement. One or two categories may be selected and issuers of press releases should select the most appropriate categories. For example a press release about a seminar or expo should be assigned to the events category; a press release about a whitepaper should be assigned to the research and papers category, etc.
7. Industry events
Training Press Releases carries profiles and news feeds for the learning industry's most significant conferences, expos and events around the world - those occurring in the next four to eight weeks are listed at any one time. Customers taking part in these events may assign their releases to them, but should only do so if they have an official role, for example: a confirmed sponsor, exhibitor or speaker. It's our expectation that customers will not want to assign releases to events that they are not active in and it's important that they do not do so.
Where a press release is specifically about a company exhibiting at an event, avoid headlines like just 'ABC Company to exhibit at XYZ Event', instead focus on an activity such as a new product announcement, what you are demonstrating, a thought-leadership position, what you are presenting about; and what that means for the event's visitors or wider market. No offers or prize draws. Further guidelines on writing press releases about exhibiting at tradeshows.
8. Reasonable usage
An annual subscription to Training Press Releases provides customers with unlimited press release postings under reasonable usage guidelines: The intention of Training Press Releases is to allow and encourage learning-provider organizations to issue frequent 'news value-based' publicity and not to encourage peppering of the market, through TPR, with promotional communications. Training Press Releases will reject press releases it considers not unique and not having 'news value'. So while there is no limit, within reason, to the quantity of press releases that may be posted, this should not be confused with repeatedly posting similar news stories that do not contain sufficiently unique newsworthy announcements. Where more than one press release is posted in the same week additional care should be taken to ensure they are truly unique, for example: multiple, frequent product announcements will be rejected; multiple, frequent 'new client' win announcements will be rejected.
Training Press Releases encourages the use of news photographs and news graphics in press releases. Product/pack shots on the whole should not be used, unless they clearly add to the press release's news value. Do not use logos as images in press releases.
10. Webinars, seminars, presentations
Releases must not advertise or promote an individual event, instead they should be an announcement about it. The main point of a release about an event should focus on the event's content and not on any logistical aspects such as its date, price or registration. (TPR will usually move any mentions of the date, time, price, etc in headlines or synopses in to the main body of the release). Additional guidelines are available to help authors writing releases about webinars, seminars and presentations.
11. Writing guidelines
The following guidelines apply to all submissions to Training Press Releases. If your release does not comply with our writing guidelines below, it may be withdrawn. Where relatively simple corrections are required, such as simple formatting and grammatical corrections, we may make these without notice where we deem necessary.
Training Press Releases uses the BBC College of Journalism as a rough guide to punctuation, grammar and writing rules.
A few of our key writing rules are listed below.
a. All press releases should be written in English. US English (US-EN) and English English (EN-EN) are acceptable.
b. Other than within a quotation, do not write in first and second person: always write in the third person - as though the author is reporting on an activity or situation. (This applies to all text outside of a quotation, including further information links.) For example: do not use "I" "we" "you" "us", instead use company names, group names, market names and words like "people", "users", "consumers" and "customers".
c. Do not use ALL UPPER CASE in your press release, other than for abbreviations. This applies to the headline as well.
d. Opinions are acceptable as long as they are clearly written as a quotation and support other points within the press release. A quote on its own is not acceptable as a press release.
e. It is acceptable and encouraged, to use web links in the main body of a press release to make it easy for visitors to reach further information on your own web site or elsewhere on the internet. Avoid placing links around verbs like 'register', 'click here' or 'download', instead place the link around descriptive words that relate to the content of the linked page, e.g. the title or other content on the linked page. Avoid placing URL text in headlines and synopses. Avoid placing links around promotional pricing words. Each link should be included once and not repeated or copied elsewhere in the release. As with all text, the sentence that includes any links should be written in the third person
f. Do not give advice, tips or recommendations. If your business offers these things, then write about why they are available. For example, if you are offering a 10-step program do not list all the steps, rather list one or two and concentrate on explaining why you offer the program and who it's for.
g. Headlines in excess of 12 words and synopses in excess of 75 words may be truncated.
h. Press releases should be at least 200 words in length, excluding the headline and company description (boilerplate). While there is no limit, within reason, to the maximum length of a press release, those in excess of 1,000 words may be truncated.
i. Exclamation marks have no place in news publications and should not be used in press releases. TPR will usually remove them.
j. Be careful when issuing press releases about individual courses, events, seminars and webinars, books, products, services and resources. If your submission is promotion without a valid news theme it will be rejected. (One way to do this and avoid creating an advert, is to write about why it exists and its target market.)
k. When quoting someone or writing about other companies and products, obtain permission from the persons or companies you are referencing.
l. Pricing: It is acceptable and encouraged to explain the price of a product or service within a press release as long as this is done in a factual way. Press releases using the 'price' as a key theme, or including it in the headline / synopsis, are almost always rejected. The 'price' may be mentioned a maximum of once in the main body or, as is sometimes preferable, as supplementary information in a notes section at the end of the release.
m. Be extra careful when using words like 'free', 'discount', 'now offers', 'download', 'only $X'. Training Press Releases will usually edit them out or reject the release.
n. Legal business entity labels (Limited, Ltd, public limited company, plc, Corporation, Inc, etc) are often unnecessary and undesirable in press releases and should usually be avoided, especially in headlines.
If you are not sure whether your press release complies with these guidelines please e-mail it to us and we'll take a look, without charge and let you know. Additionally for a fee we will edit or re-write a press release for you. E-mail it to [email protected] for a quotation.