How to write an App Press Release
Written by Catherine L. on March 31 2013.
You've spent months creating an awesome App and it's time to show it to the world. However, you've got one more big task left for you — figuring out exactly what you're telling everyone (and how you're telling it to them).
The Press Release is one of the oldest forms of news distribution (you can tell from all the sort-of-funny old-school conventions in the formatting), but to this day, it's one of the most effective ways of communicating your message to reviewers, media outlets and the press in general. It's important to get this right, so we've collated our top
10 12 tips to get your App Press Release in good shape!
Top Ten App Press Release Tips
- A Press Release is a statement prepared for distribution to the media — the purpose is to give journalists information that is useful, accurate and interesting. Say those three words to yourself again.
- It must be newsworthy — this is of course subjective, but generally it's accepted to mean that the Release must represent a significant event to your organization that is reported in a timely manner. You should have this one covered — you're releasing a new, or updated App version.
- Simply existing isn't news — why is the fact that you exist important? This is similar to number two and there are a few ways easy ways to approach this:
- Present a benefit: Instead of “App to compare prices of beans is released”, maybe “The average family can save $0.50 a week on beans using XYZ App”.
- Share some findings, or statics about the problem your App is solving in an infographic. Infographics have significantly higher publish rates than almost anything else — they're visually appealing and require essentially 0 work from reviewers.
- Tell them what you want them to know in the first paragraph. Everything they need to know to understand whether this is something that their outlet would be interested in covering. And even before that, give them a <10 word snappy headline. This is good for a few reasons:
- It peaks their interest and allows them to quickly decide if this interests them.
- They will likely use a this as the headline for the review, it reduces the work for them and increases your control over the tone of your coverage and representation of the brand.
- Have a press kit. If you submit with AppLaunch, we'll sort this for you, but if you're going it alone then don't make them look around for screenshots, details, features, a contact email address, a video etc... Zip it all right up and send them a link to it.
- Don't send attachments, it will likely get your email bounced, spammed or filtered. It's perfectly fine however to embed images in the email (in HTML emails) — although bear in mind, point 7.
- Assume your email may be read without images enabled. Most hosted email solutions now block images from unknown senders (you), so assume that it won't have any of your lovely images or external CSS formatting. Make sure that it reads okay in plaintext.
- If you have the time, make it personal. Did they write something particularly interesting last week? Does it fit with a trend of Apps they've been covering? Reviewers are like everyone else.. they have egos and recognize and reward you spending time researching them or being a fan.
- Send Promo Codes. A lot of reviewers are unpaid or receive very little remuneration for the articles that they write. One key perk is that they get to download / play / use the Apps that they review for free. If you have an App that they are personally even remotely interested in, sending a promo code will likely help entice them to review it.
- Be Contactable. Include contact details prominently, offer to answer any of their questions and that you're happy to set time aside if they'd be interested in an interview.
- Follow up. Reviewers are busy and the processes in place to monitor incoming Apps for review tend to be at best an Excel spreadsheet and at worst nothing. Give it a few days then send people that haven't opened your emails a follow-up suggesting why you think it would be a good fit for their site. If you're an AppLaunch customer, we'll do this for you, if not, ToutApp (http://www1.toutapp.com/) provides a great set of functionality for achieving this yourself.
Don't use promotional language. A press release is a statement of fact with a slant to tell a story. It is not an Ad! It is most effective when written in a formal style using active voice and from a 3rd party perspective.
A sample of words that should never be in a press release:
- always been waiting for
- ... you get the point
Good luck with your Press Release — and remember, we're here if you need us.
The AppLaunch Team