How to write a news release, and five templates you can use
The press release: where do you start from?
The news release is nothing like your average blog post. It has a very specific job in your media relations strategy: it's meant to provide all the necessary information to the people you pitch - journalists, bloggers, influencers, etc.
Every story has an introduction, a central part, and a conclusion, but not the news release. In a news release, you start in medias res. You start with your news.
Here's a short guide to write your next one:
- What's your news? This summarises why your release should be read, and why it's worthy of discussion. It's the first thing you present to your audience.
- Why is it meaningful for your audience? This can be the second part.
- What's the context? Start adding details: the date, the city of your company.
- What are the details? Now you can go deeper and explain the full story, give background information, etc.
- Got any visual assets? It's important to provide everything you have: logos, product pics, team pics, product videos, and so on.
- Got any quotes? Provide bite-sized insights.
- Who's behind this release? Add information about your spokespeople and about your company.
There are many different types of stories you can start from for your next release. We picked some that are commonly used and we created these templates accordingly. You can use any of them when you write a new release on pr.co, or you can see them below.
1. The Product Launch
Use this template to outline your launch in a format that explains your product's benefits.
Get a head start on your product release by starting with the following elements:
- Header. Very important as this will be used as your main eye catcher. Spending extra time on getting this right will pay off. Focus on explaining the why - the benefit of using your product.
- Social pitch. Summarize your story in 140 characters plus hashtags. The goal is to provide your readers with a sentence they can easily tweet.
- Summary. Provide a longer paragraph that explains in more detail what your product does and how it works. Provide one or more examples of how this will work in practice.
Finish your release by adding extra information like pricing, availability, technical specifications, industry information and any other details.
2. The Company News
Short update about your company to keep those close to the company in the loop.
Your company generates more news than you think. Don't limit your public relations to official formal press releases. Some quick ideas for light weight updates:
- New employees. It's nice to introduce new people properly and give everyone a heads up about new hires.
- New office space. Ok, true - this doesn't happen that often - but when it does it is a brilliant way to get in contact with long standing company relations.
- A new coffee machine. An example of reaching out with something that relates to your company culture. You just bought the same 1961 coffee machine that Jony Ive has? Write about it.
- Upcoming events you are sponsoring or attending. Let your clients, employees or other stakeholders know about an event you are going to.
3. The Top 5 List
A list based template that you can use to promote your product or service.
A list is a great way to showcase your product, brand or service. The key is to provide meaningful tips for your audience. Here are a few examples of how you could apply this template:
- Your products. List your products or services and explain how they differ and when they should be used.
- The most popular ways to solve the problem your product solves.
- Highlight the people that are successfully using your products or services.
4. The Opinion Piece
Providing insight into your industry is a fantastic way to build brand recognition, establish your brand as a credible expert, and drive traffic.
The following steps can help in getting started quickly:
- Choose an audience - decide who you are writing this for.
- Choose one main point - try to stick to just one.
- Create the outline of arguments to support this.
Flesh it out, find and add other supporting content - like images or video.
5. The Research Report
When you want to present data from a research report to your audience. Use graphs and charts to show key trends in your industry.
Research findings can be used to generate exposure for your company in settings that range from very formal to fairly informal. Some ideas:
- An academic research paper. This can be presented by grabbing the key findings and adapting them for a more general audience.
- A study from your users' data. Informal data such as trends in behavior mined from your internal data stores can be an interesting piece.
- Reusing a public study. You can take a study related to your industry and use its findings in an interesting way and apply it to your specific situation.
Whatever your angle is remember to make a clear point that is wrapped in a compelling story. Use strong visuals such as charts and graphs and it is always worth spending an extra 10 minutes on a better headline.
6. No template
For the bold at heart
You don't have to start from a template necessarily. Find your own balance between a solid structure and your own creativity. Find out what works for you, for your contacts, for your clients.
How do you like these templates? Which one is missing? Let us know @prdotco!