This is the controversial part of PingGo. This is the ‘marmite’ bit. Is it cheating to use a template to write your press release? Indeed, can it be done and what’s the quality?
We are all taught to write press releases using the five Ws when we start in PR or in journalism. Those questions – who, what, where, when and why – are drummed into us. This is the formula to tell a story in one paragraph or less.
Everything that follows the first paragraph is optional – the reader will have understood the entire story and can now skim or deep dive into the rest of the information.
PingGo has taken that news formula – a formula that is used all over the world, in every language, on every news desk – and digitised it. PingGo's templates are a checklist to keep you right when you are writing to deadline, so you never forget a vital detail.
Some people instinctively learn to write strong press releases quickly and confidently. They see the structure of a news story straight away and can easily follow the rules. After a few press releases they are writing fast and accurately.
For some it takes longer to adapt to the tight framework and restrictions of writing for the media. I was that person, I like flowery language that meanders along and builds to a sweeping crescendo – the end! I didn't feel comfortable with the 'facts only’ writing I needed to succeed in PR.
PingGo’s templates offer guided writing to keep you on track and make sure you follow the rules of writing a press release.
We have over 200 unique templates designed for a broad range of business sectors including: retail, manufacturing, digital technology and property.
We also have templates for company backgrounder and key messages and every big business milestone has its own template: company launch, senior appointment, award win, product launch, financial results, investment secured.
After your first press release has been written, to save you time, PingGo will automatically pre-populate any new press release with your saved key messages. This means the whole team is always working from the same set of key messages.
You can update your key messages at any time, and everyone will always be working from the new version.
The guided writing tool works by asking you a series of questions. Questions a journalist would ask your client. Each question has help text and examples to prompt your thinking with placeholder text to further help you find the right answer.
You should answer each question clearly and concisely. You will see where your answer fits into the overall press release in the preview screen on the right side of your screen.
You can either make your words fit here or edit at the next stage. You will find your own rhythm with this – just remember you can edit at any point.
Your answers will make up 80% of the final press release – this means no two press releases written using a PingGo template will ever be the same. You are writing the story, PingGo is merely providing a framework around which you write.
Once you have answered all the questions you can move to the next stage where you can edit the entire text including template words. This is where you really make the story work. You have all the facts and figures on paper, nothing has been forgotten, now you use your PR skills to put everything in the right order.
Bring the most important information to the top and push the unnecessary to the bottom of the inverted pyramid.
Of course there is no need to use a template if you are already comfortable writing news. We have blank templates for you to cut and paste your document in for distribution, or to write from scratch.
You can also create your own custom templates using our template builder. This allows you to create bespoke templates with a unique agency style for your clients.
We are adding new sectors all the time to our template library and have started developing templates for other content types including: op-ed, case study, feature pitch and blog. Keep an eye out as we will be launching these in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, if there is a template you would like to see, just give us a shout and we will get right on it.