If you read my post regarding Press Releases, one of the takeaways could be that it can be a pretty informal document. This is true if you know the reporters you are reaching out to. Since you have cultivated personal relationships with your local reporter you know what their likes, dislikes, and needs are and can craft your release to meet those needs.
A Product Release should be a more formal document and should include several key pieces of information. Your Product Release is often sent to national, industry-specific publications that expect certain information to be available to them. So how can you craft a killer product release that your reporters and editors will thank you for? Try to include the following:
- A killer headline. Everyone has a new widget, and everyone’s is the best or new and improved. Why is your new product worthy of a press release? What is it that makes your product special? Call that out in the headline.
- Who is it for and how does it help them. For example, explain that this new machinery is going to cut production time by 20% and reduce the chance of error by 15% for the garment industry. This will allow for a more consistent product to be sent to consumers and the supplier will be able to meet demand quicker. This information should be your first paragraph.
- Now back it up – your claims that is… What testing has been done? Are there any case studies that can be included? Here is the tough part – don’t fill the release with industry-specific jargon. You need to be able to communicate your new item so that the average person can understand it. As a communicator, you need to know this information as well as the engineer. Take it from Einstein:
“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
- Include a story. Make your product relatable to your target market. For example, an unknown designer has a successful showing at Fall New York Fashion Week. Unable to keep up with demand from Nordstroms, he purchased our machine to help cut fabric at a quicker pace, with more accuracy, allowing him to fulfill the order and exceeding expectations. 1800 pieces were delivered within 3 months. Had he employed old methods, he would have only been able to deliver 300 pieces in this time frame.
- Specs and technical information. Include this information as well, but don’t give away any trade secrets! Keep it is as simple terms as possible and double check for accuracy.
- Include company information. There is typically a paragraph at the end of a release that gives background information. This should be consistent across all releases and all departments.
- Contact info. Make sure it is right and make sure that person is available and the correct person to be talking about this product.
There you have it! Reporters want to tell your story, and if you make it easy for them to find the information they need and to be available for follow-up questions, you will have crafted a killer release that reporters love.