How to write a press release (our best tips)

Here at Free Your Ostrich Ltd we do not allow Ollie to keep all the tricks of the trade hidden under his feathers, okay maybe some, but seriously… we are happy to share what we can to help businesses with their media and comms.

Something that we are often asked about is press release writing, which for those who are not used to these types of comms, can sound daunting. It needn’t be. Just make sure you have a clarity on the message and what you are trying to achieve, and you strike the right tone so that it packs a punch and have the press jumping.

Of course, we’d rather do this for you, but if you are a new business this might help…

How to write an effective company launch press release in 4 clear-cut steps:

1. Think of an inspirational brand-driven story for your business

2. Write the press release, remembering about the basics of writing a press release

3. Create a list of media contacts who will be interested in writing about your new business

4. Define a long-term communication strategy

· Think of an inspirational brand-driven story for your new business

The average person may not necessarily express interest in your company, product or service. However, what he/she might like to know is how it can change his/her life or be of use to wider communities or business.

When writing a press release, don’t focus on the best features of your product or the details of the service, which the majority of people may not understand. Instead, write a press release about a problem or a need that your company’s product will provide a solution to. This makes the content so much more engaging and relevant and captures interest.

Think of a catchy topic for the media in the context of your new business. If it is the CEO’s exceptional personality, then highlight it at the very beginning and mention his or her experience. Let’s assume that you are opening an agency that will provide services to law firms. You’ve got a charismatic leader with a journalism background, perfect. Go ahead and write about it. The key is pulling on your strengths and shouting about them.

Do you feel that you have a chance to offer something different in a monopolised market? Emphasise this at the very beginning.

· What should you include in your company launch press release?

It definitely shouldn’t be too long or too technical, and it should be written in a way that gives a clear picture of your service or product, in a way that someone who may never have heard of your or what your business does, can easily understand. Make it engaging, but to the point. Avoid overusing technical jargon, promotional language and adding in content for the sake of it. Remember, press people are short on time. Give them what they need in short clear snippets, and they will run with the rest.

Your press release should follow the usual press release format:

  • Headline – an attention-grabbing headline about your company launch. Make it count!

  • Lead – a brief overview of the story, including answers to the questions: Who? What? When? Why? With what effect?

  • Dateline – to confirm that you’re providing the most up-to-date information

  • Body – an explanation of the information provided earlier in the lead, starting from the most newsworthy info about your product and finishing with secondary details

  • Company info – a short paragraph about your company and its products to help journalists understand the nature of the business and make writing about it easier

  • Quote – include a quote from a member of your team and in context with the content of the main body

  • Media contact information – the author or company’s/agency’s contact information

  • Additional info/imagery – include a strong image and logo, ideally via a link

Good luck and give us a call if you’d like help in creating core press release templates or advice on tone of voice or specific media targeting.

Get those feathers ruffling!

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