If you’re looking to get more press for your Kickstarter campaign, creating a press release is one of the first steps.
A press release is an easy, direct way to provide media with information about your campaign. It is especially helpful when your campaign goes viral, and you are getting so more press inquiries than you can respond to. It also is useful in streamlining your thoughts and creating a clear pitch for a journalist.
Today we are going to review the elements to a successful press release. We also will include a template for creating your press release for your Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. We will examine the best and worst practices when writing. At the end of this article, you will be fully equipped to write a professional quality press release.
Bonus: Don’t have time to read the entire guide? Download a free PDF version of the guide here.
What is a press release?
A press release is an original document produced for the media by an organization or business. It communicates new, official information which the media can then report on. Press releases are usually one page and range from 400 to 500 words. It is not uncommon to see longer press releases for more detailed news. Over the years PR agencies have sent thousands of press releases which have created a standardized format which you should follow.
Below we will outline the key elements of a press release.
Headline (in bold)
The headline is the first thing that a reader will see when they look at your press release. It should grab the attention of your reader and briefly summarize the contents of the document. Good headlines are crucial to getting your release read. A bad headline makes a release easy to ignore.
Dateline & City
It is important to include the date and city in the press release. Often this information is placed right before the first sentence. It follows a similar format to a news article.
For Immediate Release
If you want the press to publish your story as soon as they receive it, make sure to include “For Immediate Release”. It is often a good idea to send the press release before you want them to publish it. This way journalists have time to add the news to their editorial queue. Timing is especially important for crowdfunding start and end dates.
Intro & Summary
The first paragraph of the press release is your introduction. It summarizes the content that follows. It is important to be clear and to the point in this section. The reader should be able to understand what your press release is trying to convey by the end of the first paragraph. The following paragraphs in the body section will go into more detail.
Body: Who, What, Where, How, Why
In the body section, you want to cover the details of your campaign. To ensure that you have not missed any critical information to include who, what, where, how, and why. All the details that you want the media to include should be outlined here.
Adding pre-written quotations to your release makes it easy for the press to cite you. Use engaging, natural quotations that include relevant information to the campaign with the quoted person’s full name and title. If you’re creating a full press kit, you can include an additional document of quotations for them to choose from. This document is helpful if they are going to rewrite the press release into their own article.
It is common for the press revise your release into a custom article with commentary. A unique article is more meaningful to their readership than reprinting a press release. For this reason, I always encourage creating a press kit to supplement your release. It will be easier for reporters to write about your crowdfunding campaign.
Traditionally, press releases did not include pictures. However, the internet is a visual medium and therefore more and more press releases actually include images. If you are creating a press kit for your crowdfunding campaign, you can include high-resolution images for the media to download.
Facts & Statistics
Be sure to include clear facts and statistics in your press release. Specific details will give it more credibility. I also encourage including a quick fact sheet for the press when you release your press kit. A list of facts will allow the media to pick and choose the statistics would fit best with the narrative they are writing.
Boilerplate Statement (About section)
The boilerplate statement comes at the end of your press release. It contains all the relevant company biography information. You want to keep this section under 100 words (1/5 the length) and be clear and to the point. Do not use industry jargon or make it drawn-out. Just include a clear biography of your organization or in this case your Indiegogo campaign.
End With ###
This little bit of formatting is specific to press releases. While the practice comes from a time before the internet, it is a formality which she will often still see and should follow. It is best that you end your press release with three pound signs [e.g. ###]. This ensures that the media knows they have reached the end of the public content and not to publish any information underneath these pound signs. For example, it’s a good idea to put your contact details below this section.
Media Contact Section
The media contact section provides additional contact information if a reporter is looking to get in touch. Be sure to include your phone number and email. This will make it easy for reporters to contact you if they have any questions. The easier you are to contact, the more potential of getting coverage.
Reverse content triangle
This concept is one of my favorite writing hacks. When writing your press release you want to use the reverse content triangle strategy. The reverse content triangle states that you should start your article from the most basic and high-level perspective.
As you continue down the document, the content will become more detailed. This is the format which journalists use to write articles. It ensures the reader can understand the entire story after reading just the first paragraph. If they’re interested, they will continue to read and learn more details.
Tell a story
Make sure to tell a story through your press release. Crowdfunding campaigns are exciting and often some of the most fun news that journalist get to cover. For this reason, it is best to tell an interesting story and not just throw in a lot of facts and figures.
Tips For Your Press Release
Here are some of my best tips on how to create a great press release. Remember to use your discretion. You do not need to add all of these tips to have a successful release.
- Numbers – Use figures and statistics to build credibility and create more concrete facts for your press release.
- Quotations – Used quotations from your team to engage the audience.
- Be Unique – Make sure to focus on what makes you different.
- Avoid Grammar Mistakes – It only takes one mistake for a journalist to hit the delete button on your email. Ensure that you have no spelling or grammar errors.
- Keep to One Page – As a general rule of thumb, keep your press release to under one page.
Tone & Voice
You may have a crazy, high-energy Kickstarter video, but your press release should be relatively neutral in both tone and voice. This approach makes the content appropriate for the majority of publications. At the same time, ensure that it is not too dry. You still want to have an engaging press release.
Goals of Your Release
The goal of the press release should be to get more press and drive traffic to your crowdfunding campaign. Don’t forget to include a link to your website and/or your campaign URL.
Example / Sample Press Release
We have put together a list of the best Kickstarter press releases [in our opinion]. These 12 companies collectively raised over 70 million dollars. You can review each press release from the campaigns for inspiration.
Regular Press Release Examples
We also wanted to include three press releases from standard companies. These do not relate to crowdfunding but are good examples of a press release.
You can download our press release template here. You can use this template to help create your press release. Remember that you have some flexibility so you can customize it as you see fit.
Publish & Promote
You can publish your press release on your blog or a free online service. Once you have published your press release, it is time to promote. It is best to post your press release on your website, so it is easily accessible. You also can look into using a press release distribution service, though their effectiveness is debated as of late.
You also want to email your press release to relevant media organizations. Make sure the email has a strong subject line, often the headline, so the journalists will open the email and a content hook so they become interested after skimming the first paragraph.
Also, make sure to personalize the email with their name and other specific information. You do not want the email to look like a mass email. Demonstrate a personal connection by letting them know if you read a previous article of theirs which was similar, or noting a network connection. Keep your initial email short and to the point. Journalist are very busy people!
You may like: 30 Tips for Getting Press for your Kickstarter
Don’t be afraid to reach out to blogs. Blogs may not have as large of a following as a traditional media outlet, but they are still valuable. Reach out to them the same way you would a journalist.
Find writers would have written about similar campaigns before. Their past writing indicates an interest in the topic. You can use an online tool called Buzzsumo and search for a campaign names similar to yours.
For example, I searched for potato salad Kickstarter and found the most popular articles written about that campaign. I could then find the individual journalist who wrote one of the articles and reach out to them via email or Twitter.
Reach out to major media organizations which previously covered Kickstarter campaigns. They are more likely to cover your campaign. To make a connection, let them know which published crowdfunding article you read.
Now that you have written a complete press release for your Kickstarter campaign you may want to think about creating a press kit. A press kit includes other relevant information for the media. This includes additionals quotations, facts, and high-resolution images. We wrote an article about how to put together a press kit for your Kickstarter campaign here.
You Did It!
Remember that your press release is just meant to start the conversation with the media. You will have to send it out to many contacts before you start to see articles published. There’s a great discussion on the Kickstarter Forum about how to create and promote a press release. If you have any questions or suggestions, make sure to drop them in the comment section below.
The next step after making a press release is putting together a press kit for Kickstarter.