If it's within your budget, you can issue a press release when your crowdsourcing project launches and/or when your winners are announced to help in making a big splash promotion-wise.
Press release wire fees can range from $200-$700 on average, and can reach into the thousands depending on the word count, “reach” of the release (meaning which markets/outlets your announcement will be featured on), and if you include any images or other multimedia. However, there are wire services that will distribute to more local media outlets that are cheaper if you still wish to issue a release.
Press Release Format
There is a fairly standard format for creating press releases. It will help your credibility and chances of being published if you present your material this way. Each press release should include the following:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
These words should appear at the top left of the page, in upper case. If you don't want the story to be made public yet, write "HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL ...." instead.
Just like a headline in a newspaper. Make sure this describes the content of the story. The shorter the headline, the better.
Your slugline is a way of building upon your headline. Your headline should be short; your slugline is like a version of your headline that can be a little bit longer and convey more specific info.
City, State/Country - Month Day, Year
These details precede the story and orient the reader.
This is where the actual story goes. There should be more than one paragraph, each paragraph no more than a few sentences. If there is more than one page, write "-more-" at the bottom of the page.
The first paragraph of your press release is the most important. Anyone reading your press release will definitely read the first paragraph. Readers will drop off after your first paragraph. Therefore, all of your most pertinent info must be in your first paragraph and the language in that paragraph needs to make your media pitch stand out from the hundreds of press releases media receive each day. If your challenge has caused a breakthrough, your first paragraph needs to communicate that. Use keywords that are relevant to your subject matter. You need to capture the reader’s attention or imagination.
The remaining paragraphs are all about providing deeper context to the messaging in your first paragraph. They can include the background and consequences of your challenge. They can include contextualizing quotes from major players in your challenge. There are many outlets that will simply reproduce your press release. Therefore, it makes sense to write your press release in the style of a news article.
Include any background information about the company or organization featuring in this press release.
Include contact person, company name, phone/fax, email, physical/postal address.
-30- or ###
This indicates the end of the press release.
Example Press Release
Here’s a sample press release. This was the press release that HeroX used to promote our official launch.
XPRIZE Announces HeroX Spin-Off
New Incentive Prize Platform Leverages Crowdsourcing and Competition Trends to Transform Business and Social Innovation
Los Angeles (March 17, 2014) — XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competitions, today introduced spin-off for-profit venture HeroX — a new type of economic engine designed to bring about radical business, technological and social innovation to benefit local and global communities, inspire new industries and catalyze markets.
Responding to the growing global demand for incentive, prize-based business models to drive open innovation, the HeroX platform complements XPRIZE’s vision for large-scale, high-profile prizes by facilitating many more, smaller challenges – many of them local –that are accessible to a larger number of competitors.
Started as a skunkworks project incubated by XPRIZE and City Light Capital, HeroX was spun out as a standalone company in 2013. The company’s co-founders are XPRIZE Foundation Chairman Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, serial entrepreneur Christian Cotichini, incentive prize and innovation expert Emily Fowler, and leading impact investor, City Light Capital.
“Our mission is to foster innovation through incentivized competition,” said Vice Chairman and President of XPRIZE, Robert K. Weiss. “The HeroX platform extends and complements our mission at XPRIZE. We are proud of the progress HeroX has made.”
“Prizes change what people believe is possible,” said HeroX CEO, Christian Cotichini. “HeroX fast-tracks innovation and spurs the rapidly growing movement of heroes — the problem solvers, misfit thinkers and crazy dreamers who are changing the world one challenge at a time. Our crowdsourced solutions methodology has caught on quickly and has proven successful for challenge creators such as entrepreneurs, corporations, venture capitalists, non-profits and municipalities.”
“We constantly heard from people all around the world wanting to know how to launch their own incentive prize challenges,” said HeroX Vice President Emily Fowler. “We have now created a path for those people. No credentials are required - just a curious mind and a level of persistence that produces the right solution. It's about letting the best idea win, no matter where it comes from. Anyone can be a hero.”
“It is often frustrating to see important problems go unsolved due to ineffective or outdated approaches to innovation,” said Managing Partner and cofounder of City Light Capital, Josh Cohen. “The HeroX prize model and platform leverage technology in a customizable way to scale solutions with measurable social impact.”
HeroX will be conducting a public, informational Webcast on Friday March 27, 2015 at 11:30a PT. Registration: www.HeroX.com.
About XPRIZE www.xprize.org
Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prizes in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, and the $2M Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE.
About HeroX http://www.herox.com
Founded in 2013, HeroX exists at the intersection of crowdsourcing, competition and collaboration, using each to drive positive change. A suite of tools and services to help spark and build awareness for new solutions to social and economic challenges, the HeroX incentive prize platform connects funding companies and individuals with problem solvers.
About City Light Capital www.citylightcap.com
City Light Capital is a venture capital firm investing in United States-based, high growth companies that are using their core product or service to make the world safer, smarter or more sustainable. By investing in companies that have a clear, measurable mission in Safety, Education, and Environment, City Light Capital partners with passionate entrepreneurs who leverage technology and scale opportunities that profoundly shape the world we live in. While City Light Capital’s primary focus is on identifying and investing in the best mission based entrepreneurs with the right solutions, the team will occasionally act as entrepreneurs, creating companies that combine the right talent, capital, technology and models to further the firm’s mission. City Light Capital is based out of New York, NY.
For XPRIZE: Eric Desatnik
For HeroX: Lynda Kaye, Kaye Public Relations