This Product Recall Workflow will support you in writing a press release if your company is recalling a product.

When you click Next> on the bottom of this screen, you will enter Publiqly’s Product Recall Workflow, which will show you how to write a press release using Publiqly’s five-step workflow structure. Here is a link to Publiqly’s Resource Library where we explain this workflow structure in more depth.

Picking the Right Workflow
Publiqly’s workflows are tailored to meet your needs in specific situations, so we recommend you choose your workflow with care. Here are a couple of alternative suggestions:

  • If you are launching a new product, click here.
  • If you are improving or updating an existing product, click here.

If the Product Recall Workflow is the right workflow for your needs, let’s get started…Click on the Next> button below.



Preparation is everything when writing effective press releases. In this step:

  1. We help you gather all the relevant input from your colleagues and outside sources. These are the Building Blocks and the key part of preparation for creating a press release.
  2. Start by downloading two important documents that you need to write your Product Recall announcement.
Building Blocks, How it Works

As you can see, the questionnaire that you just downloaded is split into two sections: Facts and Narrative. These are the two key Building Blocks we distinguish when writing press releases. Understanding the difference between Facts and Narrative is key to using Publiqly’s platform. Here is a link to our resource page where we dig into our Building Blocks some more.

It’s worth noting here, that we color code all Facts in green, and all Narrative in blue. This holds true for both our questionnaires and templates.

The Questionnaire provides you with all the questions you will need to ask your colleagues and other sources. In the Facts section, you find basic questions about your product and its recall. The Narrative questions are aimed at gathering additional information about your product recall that you can use to turn your announcement into an actual story with news appeal. Open your questionnaire now to start gathering your building blocks.

Action Item: Start collecting your building blocks using the questions from the Questionnaire.

Click on the Next> button below to see how Publiqly teaches you to use the Building Blocks to fill in your template and start creating your press release.



In most of Publiqly’s workflows we say that the News Hook is the most important part of a press release. But a Product Recall announcement is a different fish. The Product Recall itself is the News Hook. Positioning the news — in this case, negative news — is the single most important thing when it comes to writing a Product Recall announcement.

Positioning The News:

In almost cases, a Product Recall is bad news for your company. You’ve made an egregious mistake and your company is either voluntarily making the product recall, or the government is forcing your company’s hand. However, it’s important to highlight the positive aspects to your announcement. Here are a couple ways to position, or frame the news:

  • The recall highlights your company’s commitment to safety and product perfection.
  • If the recall was voluntary, it shows your company’s commitment to transparency and honesty.
  • Your company’s product recall is a short-term financial and reputation hit that will prevent higher costs later. You’d rather bite the bullet now!

Target Audience:

You also need to tie your announcement to the right audience. You have to ask yourself “Who are we writing this for?” Another good exercise is to ask yourself if your audience will care about your Product Recall and will they believe you story? If not, then you need to find a better way to position the news. And also ask yourself “Why are we communicating about this?” Is it a legal obligation or will this news improve our audience’s perception of our company?

Action Item: Choose a viable way to Position Your News now and make sure that hook will resonate with the Target Audience you’ve decided to go after.

Be sure to take a look at Publiqly’s 10 Most Powerful News Hooks page here for additional ideas.



In this step, we will show you how to write the Top of the press release: the headline, the 1st paragraph (also known as the lead) and the 2nd paragraph. The Top of your press release is the most important part of your announcement.

Writing the Top
    • The Headline: We recommend writing your headline using the simple structure of Subject, Verb and Object and writing it in present tense. In the case of a Product Recallheadline, your company is the Subject, “recalls” is the Verb and the product is the Object. These are all Facts from your building blocks. You can add some Narrative to the tail end of the headline. Here is an example of a product recall announcement headline from a fictitious company The Juice Farm Inc.: 
      Juice Farm Voluntarily Recalls Apple Beverage  as Company Improves Safety Standards

Action Item: Plug your headline into your template now, following our example above.

    • First Paragraph: This is where you rephrase the headline in the form of a full sentence. Remember press releases are top heavy — lead with the news and don’t bury it. Check out our Pro Tip on the bottom of this screen to make sure your announcement is newsworthy and interesting enough to read. Here is an example of a first paragraph of The Juice Farm’s product recall announcement: 

      The Juice Farm, the largest provider of fruit beverages in North America, announced today that it is voluntarily recalling 500 cases of its “Delicious Apple Drink” due to contamination as the company continues its commitment to safety.

Action Item: Plug your Facts into the first green section of your template now. Use your Narrative building blocks to add some color in the blue section of the first paragraph. This is where you can highlight some positive aspects to your announcement.

    • Second Paragraph: The second paragraph is where we offer Facts that back up the first paragraph. But then we quickly introduce some more Narrative and begin to explain in more detail why this announcement is positive. Here is an example of the second paragraph of  The Juice Farm’s product recall announcement: 

      The recall affects 500 cases of “Delicious Apple Drink” that were distributed in California, Arizona and New Mexico. While the 500 cases represent less than 1% of the company’s total annual production of this drink, the recall is an important reminder that The Juice Farm has a zero-tolerance policy for contamination and health risks.

Action Item: Begin plugging in your Facts details followed by some positive Narrative.



In this step, we help you write the Body of the press release — the third and fourth paragraphs, as well as the Bottom of the press release.

Body: The Body of your announcement will put the news into context and explain how the news fits into the company’s story, how it plays into trends and why readers should care. Here you’ll circle back to the original Narrative you touched on in the headline and first paragraph.

  • Third Paragraph: Here you’ll put a quote from your company’s chief executive officer or another high-level executive that backs up the importance of the safety theme of this announcement. This quote is entirely Narrative and is colored blue in the template. Here’s our example of a fourth paragraph quote from The Juice Farm’s CEO:
    “The Juice Farm is 100% committed to safety. The health of our customers is our Number 1 goal,” CEO Ralph Jones said. “We are working closely with health officials to improve our standards and prevent any future contamination. This announcement serves as a reminder of our commitment to you, our customer.”

Action Item: Plug your quote into the third paragraph of your template, which continues the Narrative.

  • Fourth Paragraph: This is where you put the news into context and elaborate on how the product recall plays into market trends and/or fits into the company’s overall strategy — the safety theme we’ve already touched on. The fourth paragraph is almost entirely Narrative, backs up your first paragraph, and answers the question “Why is this news important?” Below we continue our example of The Juice Farm Inc and the fourth paragraph puts their recall announcement into context:
    Juice Farm has the highest safety standards in the fruit beverage business in the United States and this voluntary recall reiterates its commitment to the health and safety of its consumers. CEO Jones said the company hired an independent R&D lab for daily monitoring and auditing of its production processes. The company, with the help of the independent lab, has returned to its normal production schedule and it doesn’t anticipate any additional costs from the recall.

Action Item: Plug your Narrative into the blue section of the fourth paragraph. Remember this is one of the most important paragraphs of your product recall announcement and should focus on why this news matters and how you can spin this in a positive light.

Bottom: It’s worth noting that many people writing press releases feel they have to jam-pack their release with lots of facts, quotes and extraneous information. Simply put, your announcement needs to be short and sweet and catch a journalist’s eye. If it’s too long it will be ignored. Six paragraphs are all that you need.

  • Fifth Paragraph: The fifth paragraph explains other reasons why the news is important by expanding the storyline with more NarrativeContinuing our example of The Juice Farm’s product recall announcement, you’ll see some more Narrative about why this announcement matters. There are also a few new Facts, but those Facts tie directly into the Narrative:
    The Juice Farm is urging consumers not to drink its “Delicious Apple Drink” and to return it for a full refund to the store where it was purchased. Though the product may cause mild stomach upset, the company urged consumers to seek medical attention for precautionary measures. While the cause of the contamination was identified as a valve incorrectly left open during the manufacturing process. It has since been fixed and employees have been further trained on the importance of following procedures.

    Action Item: Plug in more Narrative to the fifth paragraph of your template.

  • Sixth Paragraph: This is where you place the final wrap up of details about the product recall announcement. This section is the final Facts section and it’s often a good idea to wrap up this section and the entire press release with a wide and sweeping pithy quote from your main executive that is forward-thinking and installs a call to action to the customer and reader eg, reminding them that other products you make are readily available and safe. This section is green in your downloaded template. And, finally, we wrap up our example of The Juice Farm’s product recall announcement with some closing facts and a redemption quote from our fictitious CEO Jones:
    The company is recalling Lots No. 7001-7500, which are stamped on the bottom of the bottles. California health officials received 6 complaints of stomach upset possibly caused by the company’s Delicious Apple Drink. Customers who are not completely satisfied with their beverages can also call our service desk. “We made a mistake and we are correcting it quickly. All of the recalled beverages are now off retailer shelves. Consumers should feel confident that Juice Farm’s beverages currently on store shelves are healthy and nutritious and 100% safe,” Jones said.

Action Item: Here you should plug the final paragraph into the bottom green section of your template.

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