How to write a good press release by yourself
A good press release will:
- share news
- that is interesting and appealing enough that media want to publish it
- to an audience of readers relevant to your business and
- that helps you meet your goals
Reasonable goals from media coverage may be to generate product interest and uptake, to increase your brand’s visibility, to build your company’s and its founders’ profile and so on.
In writing a press release you need to think of three main things:
- The content — What is is that I’m announcing?
- The structure — How am I conveying this?
- The audience — To whom?
A press release is as interesting as the news it delivers. Only news, real news deserves a press release. That includes for example, a product launch, a new market or region launch, or the availability of your product/service in new countries. Something you personally would want to read about if you picked up a newspaper.
Updates such as a website redesign, hiring a new head of HR, or having rewritten your core values are not newsworthy. These updates may, however deserve a post in your company blog.
The impact of a press release depends a lot on its clarity and structure. There is no golden rule, but I’ve suggested below a structure that works well with reporters, and added some examples of wording where possible.
Title: Announces the news in a catchy and condensed way. Used as an email subject, makes a reporter want to open the email
Example: FoodTech startup A raises $YY in seed funding from VC 1, VC2 and angel investors
Subheader or three bullets: Shares main highlights of the story, conveys the momentum or trend around your news, and makes the reporter want to read further.
- Since its silent launch 6 months ago Startup A has already gained over 2000 users
- Company to use funds to develop the product, recruit engineers and launch new markets.
- Startup A aims to change the way people [vision/mission], a market estimated to have grown by XX% in the last year alone.
Opening paragraph: shares the entire news that you are announcing.
Example: Startup A, the first company to [… USP] announces today that it has raised $YY from VC 1, VC2 and angel investors A, B and C and launches out of beta. The company will use the funds to further develop its product, expand geographically, and hire engineering resources.
Next paragraphs: Further develop the story, give examples, numbers statistics and quotes from the main parties involved.
Paragraph 2: product description + company statistics and or market statistics
Paragraph 3: quote from the founder highlighting what the announcement means to the company + the company vision and mission.
Paragraph 4: Quote from other stakeholders if there are any.
Paragraph 4 or 5 : end on an opening such as the company’s last announcement, an industry statistic to show the size of the opportunity, etc.
When you write a press release, it’s key to keep your main audience in mind. You actually have two audiences: the press that you would like to see covering your announcement and the readers that buy or browse those publications.
Media: Your press release needs to contain information relevant to the media you are sending it to, and often, it’s more than one type of media. A tech reporter is interested in product descriptions, the disruptive potential of a new technology, whereas a business reporter will want numbers such as the market size, your company’s growth, number of users, etc.
The end readers: in order to determine what media to target with your announcement ask yourself if you, as an end reader would find your news appropriate in a given publication. For example, a seed funding announcement is something that we’d expect to see in TechCrunch or Tech.eu, but maybe not in the Wall Street Journal or Business Week.
Still got questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org