Writing press releases is almost an art form. As a long time marketing professional, this author realizes that outstanding press releases are a challenge to write for the most advanced PR professionals. They can be even more daunting for technology startups and entrepreneurs. That’s why it is important that you know how to write a killer startup press release.
Lying somewhere between a finished piece of journalism, an advertisement, and a company brochure, press releases can create a massive PR boost, or land your emails right in the Spam bucket forever.
- Tech startups face another unique problem with a press release – how to write a startup press release accurately without going over the head of end-users and journalists.
So we’re going to show you the best practices for writing a terrific tech startup press release, provide some startup press release examples, and explain ways you can get your message in the hands of real journalists.
Remember, your first startup press releases need to grab the interest of the press. A lot is riding on these initial efforts!
- You’re better off spending a few hours on a great press release than churning through several mediocre pieces in the beginning.
- Plan on spending significant time on these first few, and you’ll be a press release pro in no time!
So let’s start by reminding you of some basic creative writing concepts to get your ideas organized for your startup press release.
Brainstorm for 20 Minutes Before You Write Your Startup Press Release
At the risk of sounding patronizing, your best writing will happen after you brainstorm ideas on to paper. Twenty minutes of brainstorming time can save you hours of useless writing and editing time. Spend this time jotting down the vital elements of your press release: the who, what, when, where and why of it that professional journalists need to see very early in your piece.
- There are dozens of brainstorming techniques.
Once you’ve got the details on paper, and your creative juices flowing, you have an idea where your press release is headed. It’s time to tackle the most critical element of your press release: the headline.
Craft a Winning Headline to Attract Journalists to Your Startup Press Release
Press releases have different uses and foci, but a technology startup, in particular, needs to focus on a few critical points:
- Use your business name early in the headline.
- Keep it to one line.
- Make it known that your company can solve a problem for end-users.
- Give it a human-interest tone.
In other words, ask yourself what you need to say about your business, the problem it solves, and the benefit to a community or audience.
A compelling headline for a tech startup should read something like:
Technology Startup ABC Launches New 123 Platform, Solving the Problem of X and Hiring Hundreds.
Quality journalists will not use your headline as their own, that would be plagiarism, but they may include it as we can see with this published example, from Martechtoday.com. Keep in mind that looking a a startup press release example can be super helpful!
Remember, your goal is to get journalists and editors to publish your startup press release almost as is, or contact you for a more thorough piece. Announce your business, note that you’ve solved a problem, and put a touch of humanity at the finish.
- Your headline doesn’t need to be set in stone yet. Feel free to edit it further as your press release takes shape. But remember to keep it to a single line.
- Never write it in ALL CAPS, use traditional headline formatting, and capitalize the important words.
Moving forward, it’s time to work on the body of your first press release. You’ll notice that we’re not moving directly to the sub-heading, the second line following a headline. We’ll get to that in a moment.
Paragraph 1 Says it All
A professional journalist should be able to publish just your fantastic headline and the first paragraph. This is where the “who, what, when, where, why” must be, and it must be in the correct press release format. It should look like this:
Los Angeles, CA / February 2, 2021 – The team at ABC launched its newest platform, 123, which solves the problem of X. The company expects to hire hundreds of recruits, tasked with…
The Next Paragraphs Build on the Content and Provide More Detail
A startup press release should ultimately contain four or five quality paragraphs. Every piece is unique, but consider building your text with these key elements:
- a quote from the pioneer, president, or developmental lead on the program
- a quick history and positive company stats – “ABC company was founded in 2019 and has grown from our two-person operation into a staff of thirty.”
- readable, informative concepts that journalists and the end-user will understand
- publishable, positive goals like “with our newest technology, ABC aims to end sex-trafficking on the internet”
Put your most important details earlier in the piece. Allow journalists the ability to publish only the first two or three paragraphs if they’re struggling with space. Expect the bottom paragraph or two to be deleted!
A Note on Tech Startup Press Release Sub-Headers
Know that some press releases include a specific sub-headline, between the headline and paragraph 1. It’s not always necessary. That extra line of italicized text is often marketing noise, or repetitive, which would then be deleted by a professional editor or journalist.
However, as a startup, you might find a sub-headline useful to introduce your organization. So we’ll offer you an example, but don’t take it personally if the publisher deletes it. A quality sub-heading is around twenty words long, and may read something like:
Technology startup ABC Company has found a solution to the X problem and is ready to hire entry-level data entry employees at their newest LA office.
We could argue for and against that sub-heading for a long while. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if you have a longer version of your perfect headline that is print-ready.
The Final Steps – Proofing and Distribution
As an entrepreneur in the industry, you’ll have a much better understanding of the technology you’re launching. Don’t expect the same comprehension from end-users or even technology journal editors! Make your startup press release easy to understand by following these tips:
- Finish your press release and walk away from it for a while.
- Ask a friend who is not employed in the tech sector to read your press release.
- After reading it, ask them what the key takeaway of the press release is.
- Make sure your content is appropriate for your target audience: journalists and users.
- Spell check for the win!
- If you need to adjust that first headline, now is the time.
Finally, it’s time to work on distribution. Until you’ve got a network of press contacts built up, your best bet is to reach out to professional distribution services like PressFarm. These services are professional proofreaders and distributors, so you’ll have a quality last look at your message before it’s sent to their network of publishers. They also offer technology startup press release examples you can follow, and they’ll guide you through the process, from brainstorming to distribution.