Writing a Press Release For Your Startup: The How To and Why?

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Have you ever wondered how to write a press release? Distributing press releases is one of the best marketing strategies for your company. In order to write a proper press release, it is important to understand the basic components that go into writing one.

The six components appear below in the order they appear in a press release:

  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Dateline and Lead
  • Body
  • About the Company
  • Contact Information

Companies will write a press release when they want to share news about their business. Writing a press release is a great way to reach other markets, improve SEO, garner media attention, and have their news published.

According to Trace Cohen, the President/Co-founder of Launch.it, “Don’t write a press release, write a story.” Launch.it is a community-sourced site with content exclusively from those who know their products best: public relations professionals and entrepreneurs. “No one wants to read a press release as it’s only intended for the press and not for your community/consumer. No one knows your startup better than you, so don’t rely on someone else to tell your story. Your family, friends and some influencers you know rather socialize a story than a press release for greater reach,” adds Cohen.

Some topics covered in a press release are for the announcement of a new product or feature, winning an award, hosting a fundraiser, announcing an employee change, launching a new partnership, sharing survey results and spreading news of an event, a start-up business or sports game.

Include “For Immediate Release” at the top of the page, then a headline. It is crucial to have an eye-catching headline, to incite the reader to keep reading, otherwise you will lose the chance of getting your press released published.

The summary will cover the main focus for writing the press release. It is important to name your company in the beginning to make the connection between the news and your company. The summary should be brief, but enough to give the reader an understanding of what you will be covering later in the press release.

The date and lead paragraph will cover the announcement the company is trying to make. It will answer the five w’s: who, what, when, where, and why. The dateline will cover the where and when. The dateline should look like this: DUBAI, UAE. – October 6, 2012. The lead paragraph will answer the who, what, and why.

Next is the body, which will further elaborate on the news. This is where most of details for the press release will be written. In this instance, it is good to include quotes from top employees, experts on the topic, statistics, or anything relevant to the release. It is important not to write this as an advertisement, and to not address the audience directly.

The “About the Company” should be towards the end of the press release after the body copy. Here, include the contact information so readers know who and how to contact that person. It is also useful to include contact information at the top of the page so readers can have access to that information from the very beginning.

When writing your press release there are a few questions you might want to answer:

  • How are you better or different than other companies in your space?
  • What’s so interesting about the startup and your industry?
  • What have you learned so far being in business for xx years?
  • Who are you and why should I care about you?
  • Make me go “ah ha” with a fact or something interesting.
  • Do you have any traction or partnerships?

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