Now let's back it up with some sub-headers providing supportive evidence or pulling out other interesting information nuggets.
This press release guide was created by CEW, with extensive press release experience and thousands of drafts and edits under its belt.
"Up to three sub-headers is enough," says Founder Cathy White "So make sure they're key!"
London, UK, 23rd February 2018: CEW Communications, a specialist agency that partners with tech and digital businesses to help them scale, has today published a guide aimed at early-stage businesses to help them write informative and engaging press releases.
Starting with the who, what, where, when, why and how, early-stage startups should ensure they share a two-to-three line summary of their news in the first paragraph. Providing the journalists with the top line version of the entire story in one go. This makes it easier for the journalist to establish if the story is one for them and not waste time reading through a document that is not relevant.
Following the upfront summary, the following paragraphs in a release should provide further detail, expanding on the initial paragraph. Highlighting other key points, ensuring the paragraphs you write remain short, factual and to the point.
Use statistics and proof points wherever possible. We have helped to edit different press releases for a variety of announcements and know that the shorter, informative and factual releases that aren't 'fluffy' are often the most successful. Ensure you refer to where you got your statistics.
Cathy White, Founder and Director of CEW, commented: "The press release was originally designed in such a way that it could be copied and pasted into a publication with little room for editing. As such, it's written like a press article. You start with the full story and your attention-grabbing headline, before providing all the information that would be needed for the news. Quotes from experts are the way to use more imaginative language - but don't use more than three quotes! Too much choice and more will get cut from the story - diluting your key messages and focus."
A good tip for press release writing is to note down all your key messages before drafting one. Pop them down in order of importance and use that as a rough guide when drafting the full release.
Other tips for press releases. Everyone has a particular way, but CEW always writes numbers one through ten in text and 11 and above as numerical. Percent is never %, and ensure you use the correct English spelling dependent on where your majority audience is. So you might want to make sure you don't have some weird Zs instead of Ss if your main audience is in the UK.
For more information on communications and marketing have a look at: https://www.cewcomms.com/the-communications-workshop/
Notes to Editors
Press Kit: Always include a link to an open press kit where journalists can grab images, see bios, videos etc.
Your email/phone/twitter - think of the best and quickest way they can reach you.
About [Your Company]
Add a company boilerplate with the basic information on who you are and what you do. Cover when you were founded, any key spokespeople and in a few sentences, your product or service, who it's for and where it's available.
Website link - use hyperlinks where possible but don't go crazy!
Top rules for press releases
- Be factual, not fluffy.
- Keep it short and to the point. Max 1.5 pages of A4 is the ideal.
- Don't get lost in your own story. Write targeted messages to ensure you don't go off topic.
- Back it up. Data and proof points are your friends.
- State the obvious. The news part of your story should be clear.
- Keep quotes and spokespeople punchy and diverse. Quotes that say nothing or avoid upsetting anyone will not be used.
- Maximum three spokespeople. Seriously, make sure they're diverse!
- Get feedback on your press release before you had a final draft.
- Provide all the helpful links needed in the document.
- Proofread. Then get someone else to proofread. We all make mistakes, especially with tired eyes or when rushing.