Let me guess! After a long process, from conceiving an idea of researching the app costs to hiring your team of developers, your dream app has finally come to life. Then Congratulations! You’re now halfway through the journey!
On average, around 6140 apps are launched every day between 2016 and 2018. Unfortunately, some (if not many) of these apps will soon fall into oblivion, no matter how brilliant they are. If you don’t want your precious brainchild of an app that takes you months of hard work to go unnoticed among thousands of other apps, then make sure that you do a fantastic job promoting it. Getting media attention to your new app with a press release is a great way to start.
A press release is a cost-effective and commonly used tool for companies to generate media coverage.
1. What’s a Press Release?
“A press release is an official statement delivered to members of the news media for the purpose of providing information, creating an official statement, or making an announcement directed for public release. Press releases are also considered a primary source, meaning they are original informants for information.” – Wikipedia
In short, a press release (sometimes known as a news release) is a concise document that informs the press and other media sources about something noteworthy you’ve done. It’s usually provided to journalists and editors, who might utilize the information to generate a news story.
2. Why Is Press Release Still Relevant in 2021?
In case you’re still wondering what to expect when writing this type of content, let’s take a look at the major benefits of press releases.
Press releases are often written by the public relations department within a company. Then the company will have to pay press release distribution expenses to send its story news to journalists or media influencers. But this expense is still a lot more affordable than other forms of paid advertising and publicity, making a press release an overall inexpensive PR option.
2.2. Chance to position yourself as an expert
A well-written press release covered by leading publications will increase your credibility and help you be recognized as an authority in your field. Once you’ve established yourself as an expert, your reliability will enhance brand awareness among your target audience and will likely draw in more customers.
2.3. SEO advantages
As you work on your press release, you will have the chance to optimize your content to fulfill the Search Engine Optimization requirements. By adding relevant tags and keywords, you’ll increase the visibility of your content. In addition, as your press releases are published by several media outlets, you’ll get high-quality backlinks to your website.
2.4. Content distribution across multiple channels
Press releases can be distributed via both print and online mediums, ensuring your brand’s media coverage. People can see your story in the local newspapers and magazines or via direct mail. You can also distribute your press releases via social media and email marketing by uploading them to your website or blog. Exploring all these channels is an effective way to maintain your media presence and engage your target audience.
2.5. Chance to attract investors
Press releases showcase your company’s expertise and accomplishments, which can spark investor interest and might, later on, attract lucrative sponsorship to your business. A compelling story with a clear description of how you benefit your customers can help you grab the attention of prospects and investors alike.
3. When Should I Write an App Press Release?
As defined above, press releases are used to let the public know of major company announcements. There are numerous opportunities for writing app press releases and distribute them on the wire. Here are some examples:
Sharing original research findings
User acquisition milestones
4. What News is Press Release Worthy & What Isn’t
It’d be a complete waste of time writing and sending a release that is not newsworthy. Changes happen to your company from time to time. Still, unless they have a particularly significant impact, they do not require a news release.
5.11 Basic Rules for Writing an Awesome Press Release
Here are some key things to keep in mind when writing press releases for maximum media coverage.
5.1. Newsworthy Content
A survey by Muck Rack and Zeno Group revealed that only 3 percent of journalists in the world reported relying heavily on press releases for finding new story ideas, as opposed to a remarkable 49 percent who claimed to “not rely on them at all”.
It appears that your press release might as well go unnoticed like hundreds of other stories being pitched to the busy journalists, so before all else, make sure you have a story that piques their interest. Having a shareable story that’s likely to be picked up- that’s half the battle.
5.2. Target Audience in Mind
Knowing who your audience is will help you make informed decisions on organizing ideas or what types of material you use to support your points. Putting yourself in the audience’s position allows you to finely adjust your content to their interests, thus increasing the odds of your earned media coverage.
However, one crucial thing to consider is the interest alignment of your own target audience and your publication’s audience. If the magazine chooses to publish your story, then it will also be viewed by its audience. This means that your press release has to bring value to the audience of your publication as well.
5.3. Write in Third Person
The standard writing approach for press releases is writing in the third person. Use third-person pronouns as if you’re telling someone else’s story. Only use the first person for quotes from actual people.
5.4. Catchy Headline
The headline is what entices your readers into viewing your story in the first place. Your headline should be able to capture the essence of your entire tale while being concise and punchy at the same time.
5.5. Keep It Short & Simple
The ideal length of a press release is around 400-600 words. Write it too short, and you might leave out important points in your story. On the other hand, if your article is too long, chances are the readers won’t finish it.
Resist the temptation to include every piece of information possible. Things like your company background or other additional details can be included in the boilerplate at the end of your article.
5.6. Keep Your Reader Interested
Emphasize what your company has done (or is doing) instead of focussing on its future plans. Try to use the present tense to vividly describe the situation and instill a sense of excitement.
5.7. Avoid Redundancies & Clichés
As mentioned above, a press release should be succinctly written, so every word in your writing must be there for a reason. Redundancies and clichés unnecessarily prolong your report without adding any value. When editing your article, look for the redundant phrases you might have overused and replace them with new, creative ideas.
5.8. Back It Up With Statistics
Your release should be a presentation of facts rather than a series of biased remarks. Use relevant statistics to support your claims. Select interesting statistics if possible. These statistics should come with proper citation to ensure their credibility.
5.9. Use quotes smartly
Quotes should be added for insight from an expert or a spokesperson of your company rather than for sneaking in more information. They should serve to convey your key message and cleverly promote your business image.
5.10. Include imagery
Images help readers visualize what the release is talking about. Points to consider when selecting a picture are its relevance to the main content, quality, size, and ownership (if it does not belong to your company). You might even want to go as far as to create your own infographic that supports your writing. According to the Muck Rack and Zeno Group survey, 49 percent of journalists said they would be more interested in a press release if it contained an infographic.
5.11. Don’t forget your boilerplate and contact details
Add your business boilerplate at the end of your release, briefly describing your company within a short paragraph. You can also include your company’s highlights such as recent awards, unique cultures, or social impact if possible. Then put in your contact information if the journalists want to get in touch with you or simply want to check your credibility.
6. How To Write a Press Release: 10 Easy Steps
Information in a press release is presented in an inverted pyramid, going from the most important to the least. Below is the structure (or format) of a good press release. General Template of a Press Release. Again, let’s go into details about each component.
This is one of the most complex parts of writing a press release, as you have to grab your readers’ attention within a maximum of 100 characters. The headline should contain the name of the company and what announcement it makes.
The first letter of each word should be capitalized. Keep it simple yet exciting. Use active voice and insert impressive figures if possible to make it exciting and powerful. Also, try to evoke readers’ emotions with your wording and word choice.
This is a non-compulsory part of a press release. The subheading should be brief and eye-catching. It complements what is stated in the headline and serves to encourage the audience to read on.
6.3. Date & Location
The date and location should be included at the beginning of the first paragraph. Make clear where the announcement takes place and when. Use a dash to separate the date and location from the rest of a section. It should look like this:
Physical location (country, state, city) (month, date and year) – “MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (June 06, 2019) – Google LLC today announced…”
6.4. First Paragraph / The Intro
This is where you summarize the key points of your story. Keep in mind the 5 W’s (Who, What, Where, When, Why). Start off with the date and the location as stated above, and then the name of the company and the announcement. Next, briefly describes what the company does and explains why its tasks matter.
6.5. The 2nd & 3rd Paragraph
Develop your story using the essential details. Give further elaboration on what was mentioned in the previous paragraph and explain its significance. Each section can be scattered with more information but should also be concise. Keep a natural flow with logical and united points. Avoid repeating yourself.
6.6. Fourth Paragraph / The Quotes
Include quotes from the spokesperson who can be your company’s founder, a senior member, an expert, or other relevant people. The quotes section helps convey the main idea of the release, often emphasizing the significance of the company’s announcement. It also adds dimensions to the story by providing opinions rather than facts.
Good quotes should sound natural. Make sure to attribute your quotes, saying the name and position of the person you’re quoting.
6.7. Fifth Paragraph / More facts
This part solidifies the importance of the announcement with further examples, facts and figures.
6.8. Sixth Paragraph / The Closing Quote
A further quote is optional- include it only when it serves to bring more weight to your story. To enhance the credibility of your company’s product or service, you can introduce quotes from a third party spokesperson.
End your release with your company’s boilerplate- a brief description of your company, including facts such as location and date of establishment, company size, products and services, purpose and positioning, etc.
Normally, the same boilerplate is used on every press release you send, but you can always tweak it a little for different releases or update some facts from time to time.
6.10. Contact details
Provide contact details so the journalists know who to contact for more information. Include a point of contact with name and position, an email and a phone number.
7. Press Release Examples To Learn From Big Brands
Here are creative press release examples from Apple, Google and Microsoft that you can’t ignore.
Service Launch Press Release from Apple
What can we learn from this press release?
- The headline gives an overall “definition” of the new service.
- The introduction provides all the key points of the whole press release.
- Apple includes a video that highlights the new service of their product.
Acquisition Press Release from Google
What can we learn from this press release?
- The headline is straight to the point.
- Relevant quotes from company executives are added throughout the story.
- The whole press release is short and concise.
New Partnership with OpenAI Press Release from Microsoft
What can we learn from this press release?
- The headline covers every key point.
- The major agreements are presented in bullet points, which makes it clear and easy to follow.
- It explains the context of the partnership and provides a relevant picture and quotes.
8. How To Submit & Distribute Your Press Release
Now that you’ve done writing your press release, it’s time to move on to the next step: Submitting it to outreach such as journalists, bloggers or influencers.
Basically, there are two main ways to submit your press release:
- Using a press release distribution service.
8.1. Self-submitting to media outlets or influencers
This method is often used by startups or small companies running on a budget and wanting to save money.
If you choose to submit your story this way, you’ll have a lot on your plate. But don’t worry, we will walk you through this process step by step.
I. Create a List of Outlets to Submit Your Press Release
Look for news sources that are relevant to the message of your story and your target audience. These sources might include a newspaper, a magazine, a radio station or a television channel, either in your local area or in geographic areas where you wish to do business.
You can find other sources of news online via Facebook groups, blogs, Instagram accounts, and other informal groups. Look up the influential figures in your field including noted bloggers and industry leaders. Whatever sources you choose, make sure you have the name of the media agency, the name and title of the person of contact, their email address or phone number.
II. Research Submission Guidelines
It’s very important to closely follow the submission guidelines, as there’s a good chance that the publication won’t accept incorrectly formatted releases. Submission guidelines are normally found on the website of the news publications. There you will see what kind of topic the news organization is interested in as well as the content and format requirements of the release. You will also know if your submission will be edited or not.
If you can’t find the submission guidelines, try to directly contact the journalist working for the news agency.
III. Submit the Press Release
Submit your release according to the guidelines to the contact you’ve found in step one. Your release should be submitted via email as far in advance as possible, from at least a couple of days to a few weeks before the appearance of your coverage.
Your submission email should include the following parts:
- Subject line: State the topic or simply use the headline of your release topic. There’s no need to use “press release” in your subject line.
- Greeting: Greet the recipient by his/her name.
- First paragraph: Introduce yourself and your business.
- Second paragraph: Shortly talk about your announcement and that you’re writing to send a press release.
- Third paragraph: Call to action. Ask the recipient to do something in response.
- Closing: Say “Thank you” and offer to provide further help.
Make sure to include your contact details at the end of your email.
Follow up with a call or a voice message to your contact, informing them that you’ve sent them a release and adding relevant information that might pique their interest.
8.2. Using a Press Release Distribution Service
If you want to spare yourself the trouble of researching all the outlets for your press release and reaching out to the publication, this method is the right choice for you.
With this method, all you have to do is to look for a reliable PR distribution agency who’s gonna do all the work for you. However, this will cost you a certain amount of money if you work with a paid distribution agency.
You can also opt for free distribution services, but those typically offer limited exposure. Remember, your goal is to gain as broad media coverage as possible.
Some reputable press release distributors include:
9. How To Build On The Success Of A Press Release
You’ve successfully got your press release accepted by a news agency, but your work is not done yet. Now it’s time for you to make the most of your success.
- Share this good news with your employees. Letting them know of important announcements like this first will boost their morale and build up team spirit.
- Publish the news on your blog and social channels, enriching it with more valuable content and images, infographics, videos, etc.
- Inform your partners or clients via email or newsletter.
- Spread the news far and wide by featuring in a major publication. Include the publication’s logo on your homepage, under a “featured in” banner, then talk about this in any outbound marketing such as upcoming newsletters.
- Build a relationship with the journalists or publications that agreed to feature your release, starting with a thank you email.
- If a journalist wrote up your press release into an article, send them a brief thank you email. This is an excellent way to start building a relationship. They may use you as a source for expert comment or offer you a guest article spot in the future.
- Keep a list of the publications and journalists that featured your press release so you know where to focus your efforts for future media pitches.
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