You've worked hard to build your startup into a successful company. You've secured the funding, hired a bright team, secured a space, and begun production. You're so close to launch, and you're ready to tell the world. One of the biggest struggles many startups face is getting their name out and building brand awareness. One of the oldest and surefire ways to get this done is by releasing a press release.
A press release can be released to news outlets worldwide and garner media attention through many essential platforms. It's a common practice used by marketing professionals and PR companies to advertise information to build awareness and garner the attention of a much larger audience. A great press release can be a challenge. They have certain guidelines to follow, and can be tough to write for even the most seasoned writer.
This guide will help you write an incredible press release filled with best practices and tips to grab the attention of the press and get your media in front of a massive audience.
What is a Press Release and Its Purpose?
Over the years, press releases have evolved as much of the marketing landscape has moved online. The press release is an announcement from a company that wants to provide information about a news event. The press release is meant to gain media attention. It is sent to journalists and influential figures within the tech industry.
A solid press release can have a lot of benefits, including:
- Building Brand Awareness – You'll reach your target market through an effective press release creating general awareness for your tech startup and what you offer.
- Building Authority in Your Industry – Positive media coverage can build authority in your industry and help build trust. These are incredibly important for potential investors and customers in the future.
- Increasing Revenue and Traffic – As a tech company, you're likely building your presence online. A press release can create interest and generate more traffic to your website, potentially boosting your business and revenue.
How to Write a Press Release
When writing a press release, you want to aim to impress and attract the attention of journalists. Once you've intrigued journalists, your startup can start making the rounds across social media. Here's everything you need to know to write a compelling press release for the media coverage you need to get your name out there.
Craft an Inspirational Story
When introducing your tech startup to the media, you don't want to focus on the innate details of the products your business is offering or services you can provide. With tech, there may not be a lot of people who understand or find it interesting. What the public wants is a story. They want to know what inspired you to start your startup, such as the problem many people face and how your company can solve it.
Understand the Basic Format of a Press Release
Following the press release guidelines is just as important as the story you're outlining. A press release is meant to be a simple explanation of your company and why people need to know who you are.
- Start with an Impressive Headline – Your headline needs to be catchy and compelling. The headline decides whether a reader will look at your press release or not. You only have a few seconds to make an impression so make the headline count. Be sure to use your business name, keep it to one line, and mention the problem and how you will solve it.
You never want to plagiarize another startup's headline, but you can look up other tech startups and see what they've used successfully in the past. Use it to create inspiration and understand what the media is looking for.
- Sub-Headline – This is an expansion of the headline itself. It can include data and statistics just to expand on the problem your tech startup is solving. The headline itself should contain facts, and the sub-headline is what really convinces the reader to keep on reading.
Opening Paragraph – The opening paragraph can be an executive summary and should be an overview of the announcement. It should include the who, what, why, where, and when. The paragraph always begins with the location and the date. Your startup company name is what kicks off the first sentence with a further explanation of the announcement.
It can look like this:
• New York City, NY (Where) – March 3, 2022(When) – Startup(Who) will be launching its new business venture with the goal of (What) for the public struggling with XX(why). In an effort to be ready for the launch, the startup will be…
- You'll want to hyperlink your startup name with your company website so journalists and readers can easily visit to learn more.
- Second Paragraphs – The next paragraph will build upon the details in the first paragraph by including information on your startup, what the announcement means in detail, and why it is important. Every press release will be unique, but the second paragraph should include a history of the startup.
- Third Paragraph – The third paragraph should include a quote from the founder or any leads on the project. You can also include any final details on your startup.
- Company Details – The last paragraph should be a short paragraph about your startup and your services or products. It's a general 'about us that can be something taken directly from your website copy.
- Contact Details – At the end of your press release, include the contact information for whomever on your team will be managing media inquiries.
Pitch Your Press Release
Pitching your press release is done through outreach and is usually sent out an email to journalists and related influential people in your industry likely to publish your press release.
Define Your Coverage – You need to define your target approach. Are you offering an exclusive, or are you looking for more widespread coverage? If you want your press release focused on mainstream media, you would choose to label your pitch as an exclusive in the subject line to grab attention. In your email, give them a timeline to make a decision on whether or not they want to pick up the story. If they don't respond, you move on to the next.
If you prefer quantity, you can just send your press release to as many media outlets and influential individuals as possible.
Where to Send Your Press Release – There are a few ways to send out your press release. You can self-publish on a newswire service and send it directly to journalists through a distribution service. Distribution services can be both paid and free. Journalists can then pick up your story as is or rewrite it in their own words.
You can also manually research journalists and individuals to send your press release. This avenue is slightly more time-consuming. But you'll be able to focus your attention on people more likely to be interested in publishing your press release.
- Write Your Pitch Email – You don't want to glaze over the importance of writing a great pitch email. Many journalists receive hundreds of emails daily and you want to ensure yours stands out. Your email should be concise and straightforward without being salesy. It should be structured with:
- Strong Subject – Start with your intention, whether it's for immediate release or for an exclusive. Include the journalist's name and an intriguing title
- Opening Paragraph – Introduce your company and a quick overview of your press release announcement.
- The Hook – Why is this interesting, and why should they pick up the story? Provide proof of why your startup deserves media attention. What problem are you solving? Quickly highlight what makes your startup great.
- Conclude With an Offer – You can conclude with an offer to answer any questions, and be sure to remember to attach the press release.
When to Send Your Press Release – Send your press release emails out on Mondays and Tuesdays for the best chances of it getting picked up. Avoid sending on Fridays or on holiday weekends because your email is likely going to get buried.
Once you get your press release published, share it across all platforms. Share it on your website's blog and include additional graphics and calls to action. You'll want to share it on your social media platforms and email it to your email lists. Add a banner to your website to notify visitors that you were featured in major media to help boost your credibility.
You'll get more attention as you launch your startup but don't stop there. You want to keep the momentum going and keep people talking about your tech startup. There are a lot of incredible milestones you experience as a startup. You can continue to release as press releases to garner more widespread attention and help make your startup a raving success.
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