10 tips for writing a world-class life science press release
Whether your company has launched a ground-breaking product or formed a new partnership, it can be tricky to effectively share exciting updates with your customers and the wider life sciences market. If you want to generate interest in your news, then a press release could help boost its visibility and make sure your story reaches the right people. In this blog post, we cover what a press release is, why they’re important to your company and how you can make yours stand out.
What is a press release?
A press release is a short, written piece that showcases any newsworthy developments from your organisation. These are typically posted on your company’s website and shared through social media platforms. Ideally, they’ll also be picked up and published by relevant life science publications and media outlets.
Why should you consider writing a press release? Because they’re a great way to reach new customers, through generating awareness of your organisation and its developments to those who will benefit the most. You can also use a press release to give your side of a story, improve your organisation’s reputation across the life sciences, and when launching new products or services to have a broader impact on the market.
Why are high-quality press releases important?
A well-written press release is more likely to get the attention of the media and receive better coverage for your company, while at the same time helping your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts and attracting more traffic to your website through backlinks from publisher websites. And finally, when written well, it will reinforce the quality of your brand to any prospective customers.
Make your life science press release stand out
The following points will help you write a world-class life science press release.
1. Determine if your topic is newsworthy
Your story must be newsworthy to interest the editors and journalists of the life science media and gain traction. Unsure whether your news is interesting enough? We recently shared 16 ways to tell if your latest news is worth a press release here.
Additionally, in each press release you send, try to focus on one key take-home message and keep the news piece clear for your audience. Ultimately the aim of your press release is to inform, inspire and influence your readers; writing with this in mind will improve the piece and expand its reach.
2. Understand your audience
To write an engaging press release, you should understand who you’re trying to appeal to. Who are your customers, and who else is likely to be interested in this update? Try and consider your news from their point of view and show empathy for their interests. Drafting the press release with their perspective in mind will help it resonate better with your readers.
Although you’ll be writing to target the relevant audience in the life sciences, you’ll also want to interest journalists too; consider this when figuring out the angle and story of your piece. This is very important, as life science editors and journalists are effectively the gatekeepers that have the potential to massively amplify the reach of your news (but only if you can convince them to publish something about it across their own magazines, journals and websites).
3. Format your press release appropriately
Writing a press release for the first time can be challenging, especially knowing what to include to draw in your readers and deliver the information needed by life science journalists and editors. To help, there is standard formatting for a press release (which you can see here, by downloading our free life science press release template).
In brief, your press release should feature your contact details, so journalists are able to reach you. You will need a short title, and a one-line subtitle can also be included if necessary. You can also include a relevant image to make your story stand out (side note: make sure you have permission to use it for this use case).
For the main bulk of the text, you should have several paragraphs describing what the news is. Include a quote from someone senior involved in the development, and perhaps even a third party, to make the story more compelling. Readers resonate better with emotive language and having someone connected to the story sharing their excitement can be a useful tool to take your press release to the next level.
Finally, a press release should include a 3-4 sentence description about your company directly underneath the main body of news. Known as a “boilerplate”, it is a great way to give additional information about your company.
4. Write an effective title
Diving into the specifics of your copy, titles are the first (and potentially only) part of the piece that your audience will read, so drawing them in with something compelling is essential. A general rule of thumb is that shorter is better, so your readers stay interested and understand immediately what the news is. A title with keywords important to your company will also help improve your SEO.
Numbers in your titles are a fantastic way to engage your readers, as these can be easily grasped and visualised. If you’ve secured some additional finance, or you’ve expanded your workforce by X employees, grab your audience’s attention by including these statistics.
The title should also accurately reflect the main angle of your release to keep your reader’s attention, but not include all the information (so they are compelled to keep reading on). For example, you don’t necessarily always need to include your company name here. If your press release is published on your website or emailed out to your customers, they’ll already know who you are, saving you valuable space in the title. Any additional details will be included in the body of the text; use your best judgement depending on what your story is.
5. Engage readers with your first paragraph
Once you’ve drawn your readers in with a good title, having the key details in the first (or the ‘lead’) paragraph will pique their interest and keep them engaged. This paragraph is the area that your audience are most likely to read, so try to cover all the essentials. A good format to keep in mind is to include what the news is, who the news involves, where and when it happened, and why your readers will care.
A good tip here is to ask a colleague to read the first paragraph to determine their reaction. Has it covered all the main information, and are they interested to keep reading on? Further tweaking based on their input will help you get the balance right.
6. Find your voice
Although you’re writing about your company, the news should be covered in the third person. The press release will reflect your company, so keep the voice of the piece consistent with your brand. If there’s any particular words that you associate with your products or services, use them to describe it here.
Press releases have a more serious tone, which you or your team may have experience in from writing papers and publications. However, there will potentially be readers from outside your area of expertise, so choose your language carefully and avoid jargon to keep your press release accessible and engage a broader audience.
7. Shorten your piece
The biggest rule for writing an engaging title is less is more, and this applies to the whole news article as well. A standard press release should be less than 400 words, giving all the information while keeping it snappy and digestible for your reader.
Shorter paragraphs help to give lots of white space on the page, making it easier for your audience to read. If you have any relevant graphics that you can include, these can be a great visual aid for the reader, allowing you to focus on any descriptive elements in the rest of the text.
8. Keep it credible
Your press release is a factual piece, so include facts and figures around the news where necessary to evidence the story. For example, you may want to include data relevant to your new product or provide statistics around your partnership or acquisition.
As well as being important for readability, quotes can provide further credibility to your story. If you’re quoting any external sources for your press release, include relevant citations to legitimate sources to gain your readers’ trust.
9. Check the details and consistency
Any errors in your press release will hurt the credibility of your company and your news item. Therefore, a spelling checker tool is a great first step to pick up most errors in spelling and grammar, but for a fantastic piece, also check through for consistency… Are all the product names capitalised in the same way? Have you included hyphens in the appropriate places? These small details will help to bring the news piece together.
Cross-check any of your data, paying close attention to units and decimal places. Confirm the spelling of any names included in your piece and take particular care with any dates. Finally, run through your contact details again, checking addresses and phone numbers are accurate.
10. Leverage your colleagues for a fresh perspective
When you’re close to a piece of writing, you can get caught in the details and start to miss the bigger picture. Another pair of eyes can help pick up any mistakes you’ve overlooked and ensure the story flows. Have your colleagues read over the press release and give you feedback.
Asking colleagues from different departments can also be beneficial to determine if your press release demonstrates broader interest outside your specialism. They can provide valuable insight on the readability of your piece and the overall communication of your news to a wider readership.
Unleash the true power of a life science press release
We understand that writing and distributing a press release that generates the results it deserves can be challenging. So, to help we've created a handy eBook with a step-by-step guide to unleashing the true power of a press release. Following these steps will help you generate widespread exposure for your brand, products and services with your target life science audience.
Get your life sciencepress release seen and expand your reach
Once your news piece is ready to go, you need to start planning your distribution.
To get maximum media coverage, book a press release distribution with Life Science Newswire. Our service targets over 2900 editors and journalists across a large number of life science publications to give your news maximum reach with the right audience.
It’s just £600 per distribution using our pay-as-you-go service.