While Word format does not cause the same problems as PDF or Graphic formats, there are an infinite amount of problems we encounter with Word files.
When you use Word for press releases, you are creating extra steps for you and the media. It’s just unnecessary.
The overall idea of the web is to make everything compatible and easy to use because we all abide by simple, standard practices. To do something as simple as reading a press release, you should not have to to buy or download special software. Your competitors are making it easy for me to read their press releases. Meanwhile, you’re issuing them in a format that requires me to open up a completely different program that I have to buy. And, that program is extremely slow. And then there are those times when I don’t have the proper version of the software. What if I’m on my phone or tablet?
Now instead of getting the coverage you desire, you’ve irritated the editor who is now moving on to cover your competitors.
If you’re using it to make it pretty, save your time. Editors want the information in an easy to use format. We’ll make it pretty when we publish it. We’re not going to use a company’s formatting even if it it was easy, which it is not.
For an example, open one of your Word files and reveal the source code. You’ll see a whole mess of unnecessary code that can cause problems when it is copied to the web. Sure, we can “Post as Plain Text”. That will strip all of the formatting and links. And, there is no telling what will be left. There may not be any spacing between paragraphs. Special characters may not translate properly. Again, it’s just unnecessary irritation.
A press release should be in a basic web format like HTML or WordPress so that it is easy to copy and is mobile responsive. Web-friendly photos, tables and other graphics can be included at the bottom with links to download or request hi-res versions.
If you’re sending it in an email, basic email format is just fine. There is no need to attach the copy. Use attachments for low-res photos and other graphics.
There are thousands of other press releases that are much easier for us to publish because they are in the proper format. So, we will always just skip graphic press releases and move on to cover companies who know what they are doing.