There’s something very powerful about writing the launch press release upfront, before any work has been done on a new feature or project. Not only does it force clarity for the launcher, but it provides important context for all the reviewers. This ritual of “working backwards” by starting each launch with the press release was initially , and has become an integral part of my product teams.
Of course, you’ll want to choose a format that works best for your team. It could be a PRD, project brief, or a short press release with FAQ’s. I’ve included a template below that you can customize for your team.
[delete everything above this line]
Heading: short name for the product that the target customers will understand
Subtitle: One sentence saying who the market is and what the benefit is
By: [Type @ and select your name]
Summary: 2–4 sentences that gives a summary of the product and the benefits. Should be self-contained so that a person could read only this paragraph and still understand the new product/feature.
Problem : 2–4 sentences describing the problem that a customer faces, which this product solves. Tests your assumptions about the pain-points that you are addressing.
Solution : 2–4 sentences, describing how the new product/feature addresses this problem. Tests your assumptions about how you are solving the pain-points.
Getting started: 1–3 sentences describing how someone can start using this product/feature (if it’s baked into the existing product, say this explicitly). Tests your assumptions about how easy the ramp-up is for your customers to take advantage of the new product/feature.
Internal quote: Someone within your company being quoted about what they like about the product/feature. Tests your assumptions about the value you are creating for your customers and how you position this product within your broader product offerings.
Customer Quote(s): a hypothetical customer saying what they like about the new product/feature. Tests your assumptions about how you want your customers to react to the new product/feature and your ideal customer profile. They should be doing something that they couldn’t do before, doing something much quicker and easier, saving time and effort, or in some other way making their life better. Whatever the benefit is, their delight in the benefit(s) should be exhibited in the quote. This should be multiple quotes from different customers if you have multiple profiles of ideal customers, example: mid-market and F50 customers.
Call to action: 1–2 sentences telling the reader where they can go next to start using the product/feature. Tests your assumptions about whether this is a feature that is automatically on, something they need to turn on, a beta-release, etc.
A set of public frequently-asked questions and their answers. This should be a comprehensive list of everything that a customer might want to know about the product. It should include any reasonable question that comes up when discussing the new product/feature with customers and customer-facing teams during the development of the product/feature.
A set of private, internal frequently-asked questions and their answers in a format that can be understood by every other stakeholder. An FAQ might include wireframes of a product with a strong UX component, or a link to separate wireframe documents, but the PR should rely on text alone. This will allow all internal stakeholders to get clarity on the product/feature.