I’ve been with Bamboo for over a decade now (wow, time flies!), and in that time, we’ve written countless press releases. We’ve seen what works and what doesn’t, helping tons of B2B tech companies get their news out into the world.

So, when our Bamboo Brand manager, Richard, asked me to share some tips on writing a press release for our recently launched Bambrew newsletter, I stepped up to the (writing) plate, eager to share the knowledge we’ve gathered over the years.

Tip 1: Know your press release’s purpose

Let’s address the elephant in the room: press releases have gotten a bit confused lately.

Over the last ten years, press releases have become muddled. With the emergence of brand comms, the humble press release is confused with a company news post on a business’ website. But these are two different beasts.

In its purest form, a press release summarises news for journalists. It gives them the information they need to write stories about your company’s happenings.

Press releases come in many forms:

  • News announcements that inform the world that something has happened
  • Appointment releases that introduce a new employee or executive team member
  • Positioning statements that define a company’s role in a market
  • New product launches
  • Survey results or market research findings
  • Company financial results (primarily for publicly traded companies)
  • Case studies in a more press-friendly, digestible way

There are other reasons for issuing a press release, but these are some of the most common.

Tip 2: Don’t fudge the facts

So, what makes a good press release?

Facts. Facts. Facts.

Think long and hard about the story. Why should the world care about it? Not just because ‘it’s your company, so therefore it must be cool’. But what’s the real newsworthy angle?

Here are some things to keep in mind when drafting your message for the media:

  1. Be newsworthy – what, why, when, who and available data
  2. Be concise and avoid writing reams of information
  3. Limit the hyperbole and sales talk – be real
  4. Include quotes from real people (not robots!)
  5. Have a boilerplate – a short, snappy company description, think of it as a handshake
  6. Include high-res photos and videos to spice things up

Remember, some online media publish press releases word-for-word. But the real goal is to give journalists the tools they need to craft their own stories. Reporting is the journalist’s job, and press releases are a tool for that goal.

The internal struggle

Some executives worry that press releases will be twisted or misreported. This feat makes them try to do the journalist’s job, writing the story for them. A great PR person is alert to this risk.

It’s our job to manage our client’s expectations. We craft a compelling story without cancelling out the journalist’s purpose, and time the story effectively (as best as we can).

This can sometimes lead to terse conversations or scrapped stories. Experienced PR people will know how best to guide clients toward the intended outcome. Remember, saying yes every time to ‘let’s issue a press release’ helps no one.

Tip 3: Tone and care are everything

This is where brilliant PR people come in, even in the age of fancy AI and do-it-yourself marketing.

When you issue a press release, you’re putting the company out there for the world to see. Sometimes, the ramifications are enormous. Every detail matters. The tiniest thing can be misunderstood.

That’s why writing a press release is an art form. Here’s why humans are still the best at it:

  • We can strike a balance between facts and storytelling
  • We understand what journalists and readers are looking for
  • We know how the media works

Here are some of the things PR people consider when writing a press release:

  • Has the story come at the expense of a factual tone?
  • Is the headline catchy enough to grab the attention of our audience?
  • Does the press release conform to SEO best practice if published as-is?
  • Is there anything missing?
  • Is the language clear and easy to understand, avoiding technical jargon?
  • Are quotes engaging and avoid boring phrases such as “I’m delighted to…”?
  • Does anything have the potential to offend people?
  • Is everything accurate and backed by reliable sources?
  • Will the story coincide with any world events or sensitive moments?

This is just a taste of what goes into a press release. There is a lot to consider depending on your story and who you’re trying to reach. But experienced PR people take all of this into account to get you the best results.

Do you do this when you draft your press releases?

If not, let Team Bamboo help. We will write and distribute a press release that gets your news noticed. You’re in safe hands.