Are you an ISV startup with a tight marketing budget looking for a simple way to generate some publicity? Learn how to write a press release.
Press releases may seem a little passé in a time when people are using digital channels to get their news, but this straightforward, tried-and-true article style is still relevant and is still getting results for ISVs.
When to Write a Press Release
It may seem obvious, but press releases are most appropriate when there’s news to tell. Are you launching a new product? Announcing a new release? Have you partnered with a new company (especially a name that people want to read about)? Is a well-known business now using your app? Make a formal announcement with a press release.
The Anatomy of a Press Release
A press release, usually contains:
- Business name, logo, and “boilerplate” section at the end that tells about your company
- Dateline, including the city and state of your headquarters or of the office making the release
- An attention-grabbing headline
- A sub-headline that provides additional information
- Instructions on who to contact for more information
- And, of course, the press release content itself
Templates that show you how to write a press release are widely available on the internet, so you can choose a format and start writing.
The Finer Points of Press Releases
- In this style of writing, the most important thing is to clearly tell the “who, what, when, and where” in the first sentence or two. It’s not necessary—and actually counterproductive—to begin a press release like the beginning of a novel. You want to clearly communicate your news, and the sooner you do it, the better the chances that your target audience will read on.
- With regard to the target audience, remember you are writing for end users in the industry you are targeting, not your software developer peers. This should discourage you from writing about how a product was developed (and the tech jargon that goes with it) and instead write about the value your software will provide.
- Include a quote or two in the release. Chose a principle of your company (possibly you) to quote. A good idea is to reserve one of the points you want to make in the press release to use in the quote. This will ensure parts of the press release aren’t redundant and it’s more readable. It will also make the person you are quoting sound like they have something important to say.
- Add interest with statistics. Before simply saying a new product is available, add stats from your market research or look for relevant surveys or studies. Those stats can make the article more interesting and memorable.
- Also consider adding an image, video, chart or infographic to help grab attention, tell the story, and maybe increase the chances an online mag will run it.
- Another tip on how to write a press release—don’t write about “we.” That industry magazine you want to run it would want to have to be written from their point of view, not yours. Refer to your company by name and talk about “its” accomplishments.
Don’t Forget SEO
It’s highly unlikely that you would submit your press release only to print publications, so also optimize it for search engines. Choose and use a good SEO keyword and also include a link to your site. A good strategy is linking a keyword to a relevant page on your site, which can help you rank better in searches. Growing the links to your site—through press releases or other means—will indicate to search engines your website is a valuable resource.
Edit, then Release
Once you’ve drafted, perfected, and finalized the press release, it’s time to distribute it. If you have the budget, you can send it out to a wide audience through a wire or distribution service, delivering it to thousands of people. Alternately, you can send the release to industry magazines you are familiar with accompanied by a personal note—leverage relationships when you can. Remember also to use it on your own website, link to it in blogs, and promote it through social media.
At this point, you are either inspired and ready, or you’re still looking for advice on how to write a press release. Either way, the DevPro Journal staff is here if you need help getting the word out about your business. Your company is doing great things—let the world know.