How to write a great launch release

Launching a new product or service? You should consider writing a launch release. A launch release is a great way to distribute information. It’s also an effective and inexpensive way to grab media attention…provided you make it newsworthy and timely.

Want to know how to write a great launch release?

Follow these 10 tips:

1. Formatting your launch release is key. Start by including the words “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” at the top of your release. This lets reporters know that your release is timely.

2. Also at the top of your launch release, include the appropriate contact information. The media contact for your release should be the person at your company who’s responsible for taking all media inquiries. Include their name, company, phone number, and email address.

3. Next, write a newsworthy headline. Try to incorporate keywords. Use free tools like the Google Keyword Tool or Google Insights to find words that reflect your launch, company, product or service. Using keywords ensures greater visibility on search engines like Google or Bing. Many people like to make the headline bold and in all capitals. Our preference is to adhere to AP style for the headline. Also, if you sent releases via email, as many reporters now prefer, all capital text is often a trigger for SPAM filters.

4. Following the headline is your subhead. Try to incorporate your story angle in the subhead. This will demonstrate to reporters what your launch release is about. This too should be engaging and newsworthy.

5. The lead paragraph is one of the most important aspects of the entire release. Ideally, it should summarize the entire release in three to five sentences. Be sure to cover the who, what, when, where, and why of your launch. A good rule of thumb is to assume that no one will read beyond the first paragraph. This way, you will be forced to include the most importance information in the lead paragraph.

6. Now begin the body of your release. The body of your release should support the lead paragraph with concrete facts. Try to be as concise as possible. And when you can, avoid wordy sentences and corporate jargon. Think of the body paragraph as an inverted pyramid.

7. Also in the body paragraph, it’s important to include at least one quote, preferably from an expert or high-level executive. When writing quotes, don’t brag about your company. Instead, provide insight for the reader.

8. After the body is complete, you must include a boilerplate. In many cases, your organization will already have a standard boilerplate for all releases. If not, it’s important to create one, as it will appear on future press releases and materials to come. A good boilerplate includes a mixture of company facts (i.e. where your company is located or whether you are private or public entity) and your positioning statement (something compelling about your company). Try to keep it brief.

9. When all your content is complete, include “###” at the bottom of your launch release. This indicates to journalists that your release has ended.

10. Finally, proofread. This cannot be emphasized enough. Nothing is worse to a reporter than receiving a poorly written release…except maybe a completely irrelevant release. Proofread, and then proofread again. And when possible, have a second set of eyes look over your release.