A good product release update on slack:
- Has the most important takeaway at the top. Should not be more than a couple of lines
- Background/ Context as the first section. Add a small paragraph for people to understand the product better.
- Bullet points for each section.
- Impact, both in terms of metrics moved as well as customer feedback.
- Learnings and next steps.
- Shout out to collaborators.
- Links to relevant docs, including the product spec, for people who want to dig deeper.
- Seeks help on the next steps, if relevant.
- Gets people excited.
- Tags relevant stakeholders for whom the update is most relevant.
- The update is broken into relevant sections (sections are mentioned above).
- Has emojis.
Not related to the update, but equally important: Anticipate questions on the update, especially the impact numbers, and be ready with more relevant data to back the update.
This is mostly for Slack. For a more detailed email update, check out the templates here: Email templates.
More templates here: How to run a product team.
If you are sending a general update, additional things to keep in mind:
- Ask yourself: Who is the stakeholder you are sending this for? The update for your CEO will look very different from someone you send to your team.
- Think if someone might have an issue with the points mentioned in the update or would want to add/edit the update. If yes, then follow internal then external.
- Before sending an OKR update on behalf of your team, create a temporary slack channel and give people access for edit.
- Sometimes it is helpful to send a DM first to relevant stakeholders, collect feedback, before sending out an update to a larger group.
- Don’t use abbreviations/words that people might not be aware of.
- Ask yourself: Is there a way this message can be misinterpreted?
- Anticipate the follow up questions that people might have.
- Make the call to action clear.
- Information architecture is not relevant only for design, but also messages. Use proper IA.
- Follow pyramid structure.
- Put your answer at the top. Most busy stakeholders will just read the first paragraph and then skim the message.