The Basics of Writing a Press Release

press release

By Louisa Lau

Knowing how to write a solid press release for your startup is the first step to effective media pitching. A press release is a formal and official announcement regarding something new or significant about your business. It should contain sufficient information, so journalists can understand your brand and consider publishing stories about the announcement. Press releases are an excellent tool for enhancing brand credibility and creating social proof. 

However, one cruel but true fact is that no one cares about your product. Journalists receive dozens, if not hundreds, of emails every day from PR teams. Each one claims to have the ‘next big thing’ that’s going to disrupt the industry. 

So, how can a press release be made more newsworthy? Here are some tips for writing an effective press release:

Headline: What is the real ‘big thing?’

A journalist will only spend three seconds screening each email title. Having a short and compelling headline is key to the success of your press release because you only have one line to work with. State the subject immediately: who are you and what’s the story? Use action verbs, appealing data, understandable language, and keep your headline short and straightforward.

Lead: Get to the point

The first paragraph of your press release, also known as a lead, should summarize the main subject of your story. Include all the information about your new product, so that journalists can determine whether it’s worth digging deeper. 

Don’t beat around the bush–focus on answering the ‘five Ws’ (who, what, when, where, and why). For example, if you are launching a new digital platform, you should include its name, date of release, a brief overview of key features, and explain how it will disrupt the industry. Explain everything in layman terms before getting into the technical specifics in the body of the article. 

Body: Make it informative

In the body of the press release, detailed information should be written in the inverted pyramid structure: the most important information at the top of the release, and the least important at the bottom.

If you are launching an app, you can also consider listing the key features with visuals of user interfaces. It will not only help explain the app’s functions, but it will also demonstrate the user journey to arouse a journalist’s interest. 

Include a tempting quote

Get quotes from key stakeholders in the company, such as founders and project leads. The chosen quote should shape your business narrative and describe why this new launch is significant to customers, making the press release sound more human.

Concluding your press release

Summarize the essential information in the conclusion. It is also customary to add a few lines about the company’s plans, such as expansion and future product updates, to keep the audience attuned to subsequent news about your brand.  

Whenever you’re writing a press release, ask yourself: What am I trying to achieve? Is getting exposure from top-tier media my goal? Or am I looking for new investors? It is crucial to identify your goal at the start and tailor your strategy. 

While digital marketing is gaining popularity among startups, traditional press releases can still be valuable when executed well. Having your brand featured by top-tier media is always an effective way to enhance brand awareness and credibility.

Louisa is HelloReporter’s PR and Content Manager.

Additional tips

  • Provide a fresh perspective and include exclusive insights on a relevant topic.
  • Incorporate keywords to improve your search engine ranking.
  • Always write in 3rd person point-of-view. 
  • Keep it short–two pages at the maximum.
  • Add “For immediate release” at the top, and the company description and press contact at the bottom.

About the Author

Louisa joined HelloReporter as PR and Content Manager in 2018. She is a leader in strategic brand building, developing corporate and media relations programs and digital marketing campaigns, as well as event management. She is experienced in creating and shaping business narratives and effective PR strategies for startups and SMEs.

helloreporter.io

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