Share Your Company News with a Powerful Press Release
A compelling press release can grab media attention so they’ll share your news with the world.
Created by companies to share news with the public, press releases use a specific format to support their goal: capturing the attention of reporters. This format, called the inverted pyramid, places key information in the first paragraph, with supporting material below in descending order of importance.
It’s tough to grab the attention of busy writers who have seen it all, but sticking with facts (and avoiding marketing language) and using the following checklist can help.
□ Include a benefit.
Ask yourself, “What’s so great about my news that reporters will share it with readers?”
□ State the primary information you want readers to know.
Assume they won’t read the rest. Does your headline get across news they’ll remember?
□ Be clever, fun, or unusual (if it suits your topic), but never at the expense of being understood.
Clarity must always win, even if the result is a little boring.
□ Add an impressive statistic if it can be substantiated and tells a good story.
Example: Customers Rave about Bibliophile’s Product Redesign: Satisfaction Up 14%
□ Include key details that didn’t fit in the headline.
□ Answer the “What’s in it for me?” question if the headline does not.
□ If you had to write a boring headline, liven things up in your subhead.
Example: User feedback led to faster, better results, and an increase in savings for customers.
□ Use the inverted pyramid: answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your story.
□ Explain what your product/solution does.
TIP: Ask someone who doesn’t know your business to review the description. They’ll tell you if it makes sense or not. Trust them.
□ Answer your customer’s most important question, “What’s in it for me?” Highlight the benefits.
□ Find an angle: Awards, certifications, and new board members aren’t inherently interesting. Show how this news benefits your audience. Be specific. Use real stats, stories, and examples.
□ Feature a customer success story. Make your customer the hero of your story with your company playing the role of the “wise guide” that helps customers succeed.
TIP: Ask customers for a quote. Their endorsement speaks volumes for your company.
□ Write great quotes. Generic quotes use jargon and sound interchangeable with the competition.
TIP: Be memorable and stand out from the crowd. Which of these sounds like a friendly company you’d want to do business with?
A: “This certification shows we’re strategically placed to deliver value across the full customer lifecycle.”
B: “If our team wasn’t so exhausted from meeting the high standards for this certification, we’d be doing backflips to celebrate the news.”
□ Don’t bury good quotes – from your executives or customers. Try to run them in the 2nd or 3rd paragraph. Quotes stand out when readers skim the page and can encourage them to read more.
□ Tie your announcement to a topic in the news. If the media covers news in your field, ride those coattails with a press release that addresses the larger topic by connecting it to your product or service.
□ Add statistics – yours or from an outside source – that can be substantiated.
TIP: Cite or link to the source. This saves a step for the reporter and shows professionalism.
□ Follow the standard press release format. You can find many examples online.
□ Three paragraphs are generally the minimum. One page is ideal.
□ Include a boilerplate statement at the bottom. This is basic background about your company.
□ Don’t forget your contact information: Name, phone, and email address.
□ Always end with three hashmarks to let readers know they’ve reached the end.
If you have a press release with SAP-related news, learn how you can submit it for review.