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MARKETING YOUR APP · HUGH KIMURA · MARCH 2014

App Press Release Basics: Writing And Distribution

How to write and distribute a press release to promote your mobile app.

Title: App Press Release Basics - Writing And Distribution

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Sending out press releases is something that you should use to promote your app. It is free if you do them yourself and you may get a ton of exposure that can help you gain the advantage over your competition.

But just like any other promotion technique, there is no guarantee that it will work and they are not easy to get right. So in this post, we want to show you the basics of how to write an effective press release and how to go about distributing it.

How To Write A Press Release

The key to getting your press release published is you need to make the journalist covering the story look good and make their job easier. You have to give them a story that their audience will love and serve it up on a silver platter.

This means going the extra mile to add additional research to your release and putting an interesting spin on your story. Keep in mind that they are always trying to meet tight deadlines and the more you can help them, the more likely they will publish your story now and in the future.

Format

When writing a press release, there is a slightly different format that you have to follow than when you write for blogs or other media channels. If you don't follow this format, your press release will probably be thrown out. Remember that journalists are being pitched all the time, so you need to give them something that they are familiar with or they will move on.

Headline

The headline is the most important part of your press release. You should consider spending just as much time thinking up a great headline as you do actually writing your press release.

Ask yourself why your app is interesting and why people would want to read about it. How is it different than similar apps out there?

Keep the headline under 80 characters. After the headline, you should also include the date and location that the press release is being sent from.

Summary Paragraph

The next most important part of your press release is the first paragraph. It gives a summary of the important points of the release. The summary paragraph should only be one to four sentences.

Body

The body will give the reader the meat of your story and fill in the details. Be sure to keep it short and to the point. If you can include a screenshot of your app, that can be useful in grabbing the attention of the journalist.

Quotes

Including a quote can make your news release more personal and get your point across clearly. A journalist or blogger will paraphrase your press release and possibly make a mistake. But they will never change a quote, so a carefully crafted quote will ensure that you are not misunderstood.

Boilerplate

Finally, you should end your press release with a short description of you or your company and where readers can get more information. Also remember to include your contact information and website. Then end the release with "###", just some random code that is put at the end of press releases.

Example

Sometimes you don't have to get fancy. Although this example is not a press release for an app, it illustrates the point well. When we were working on the press release for our last funding round, we gathered some information on Alex and Oliver about how they started and tried to think about angles that would make for an interesting story.

But as we read through the other featured stories on TechCrunch and other tech websites, we came to the conclusion that the funding IS the story. We didn't need to dress it up in anything fancy. If we just gave out some details about the round, the journalist would take care of the rest.

This was the result:

So the moral of the story is to take a look at the stories that are currently being published. What are the trends? What are the hot topics in your niche? Once you get a better handle on what media sources want to publish, you can tailor your press release accordingly.

How To Distribute A Press Release

Let's start off with a list of free places that you can send your press releases to.

  • PRLog - A free press release distribution service

  • ClickPress - Global news distribution

  • Pressbox - Press releases targeting the UK

  • HARO - Help a reporter get more information for their next story

  • TechCrunch - You can submit your story tip via the link in their sidebar

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There are also a couple of paid websites that you may want to submit to.

  • PRWeb - One of the top PR websites

  • MarketWired - The unified news release platform

But don't think that you can just submit your release to a bunch of websites and sit back and relax. You should actively seek out journalists in the tech community and send them friendly emails.

Do not send out generic emails, be sure to use their first name and mention something that you honestly like about their work. Keep the email short (five sentences or less) and mention why your press release will help them.

Also think about offering an exclusive. While this might cut down on the number of places that your story appears, it can make it much more likely that a journalist will publish it.

Conclusion

Before you send out your press release, be sure to double and triple check your spelling and grammar. It does make a difference.

If this process is a little intimidating, consider finding an experienced PR consultant to write your press releases for you. But if you would like to handle the process yourself, we hope that this post has given you the information you need to get started.

What other questions do you have about press releases? Did we miss any good resources?


Sensor Tower's platform is an enterprise-level offering. Interested in learning more?


Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: March 2014

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