How to write a press-release journalists actually want to read
All entrepreneurs believe in their product, even those who maybe shouldn’t, and that’s great. But how to get journalists to believe in what you’re building?
I’ll give you some tips on how to let your press-release stand out amongst the thousands of developers that hope get their startup presented in the media.
As a journalist both at regular newspapers and for tech blogs, I got tons of press-releases every day. Some were good, others were horrible, and a few were really great.
It’s not given that these guidelines will guaranty that a tech blog picks up your product, but it will dramatically enhance your chance of “being discovered”, if you didn’t do any of these things in your earlier press-releases.
Remember that before your product has any market validation, you and your team are the product. Who are your team-members, what have they done before, and why will your team work well together, are all questions you need to answer.
Tell your story (briefly, not from birth). If something special in your life has led you to start your company, this is important to express. Journalists love a good story, and people do too. A good concrete example is Ryan Green who made the computer game That Dragon, Cancer, to help people confront cancer. He did so after his son was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of four. Not all stories are that powerful, it can be any kind of story, but if there’s a personal motivation for your startup, share it.
Multimedia is key. Present good pictures of you and your team, and the product your building, as well as the interface of your app, or the design of your website. If you make a video or a GIF, that’s even better. This is a great example from Amity, a messaging app.
Journalists are lazy/busy (depends who you ask). But one thing is for sure, it will help you a lot if your write finished quotes, so the writer can copy-paste the lines into the article, and doesn’t need to contact you. Make a team-member interview you, and answer the key questions about your project. The vision, the market, the product, etc.
Be exclusive. Obviously, you want to get your product in front of as many eyes as possible, but being a bit exclusive can actually help you a lot. Journalists wants to be the first to publish the story, in that way, other outlets need to reference to them in their stories. If you have a particular news outlet you prefer, send it to a journalist, and tell her that she is getting the story exclusively until tomorrow, when you’re sending it to the whole list.
For those of you that didn’t read the whole article, and just scrolled down to see if there’s a summary, here it goes (but you should read the whole thing):
Remember that you are the most important product, present your team.
Connect your own story with the story of the company.
Good pictures and videos/GIF’s of your product & team are key.
Write quotes, so the writer don’t have to track you down.
Give your favorite news outlet exclusive access to the press-release one day before everyone else, let them feel important (because they are..).
If you have any tips that worked for you, feel free to comment under.
We had Jeremiah Gardner visiting this fall talking about Value Creation. He made a lot of good points on creating a company journalists (and everyone else) actually cares about: