Press releases are the most essential gadget in your Public Relations toolbox. Press releases relay your company’s announcement to a journalist in an easy and effective manner.
However, this doesn’t mean press releases are rocket science. Press releases have a standard format that coherently organizes information that a journalist would want to use.
Press releases allow you to be proactive when searching for media coverage. Don’t wait for coverage to come to you. Reach out to individual journalists – even if you have never met them – or just submit press releases to the tip channels of publications.
Many entrepreneurs overlook tip channels, but they are more effective than people tend to believe. At VentureBeat, over 50% of the stories they covered came in the form of press releases sent to [email protected].
News, by definition, to many of these publications means announcements that are current and relevant.
Journalists publish stories that bring something new to the table and that can be part of a wider context. The title of your press release will embody the storyline and be the first thing a journalist sees when looking at your press release.
Your first step is to devise a storyline that summarizes the content of your press release in one brief sentence while asking yourself, what makes this mobile application relevant and worthy of discussion?
Don’t be afraid to make large claims of your company or product in your title. Tie your product or company to current trends and larger conversations that are taking place.
One story examples of stories are:
Mobile app LuckyPennie launches, aims to re-imagine the way we discover music.
Press releases follow a standard structure that breakdown the who, what, when, where, and why that a journalist would need to write an article on your company. A solid format to use is as follows:
Mobile app entrepreneurs should approach journalists with their press releases differently than other industries. Mobile apps have limited opportunities to write press releases with appropriate stories worthy of a journalist’s attention and so they should do the job much more carefully.
The first press release that a mobile app developer should write is of the launch. However, mobile apps, when launched, often avoid press attention until glitches are solved and improvements made, but by the time that work is done, the mobile application is no longer “new.” This will result in a loss of news value, making your announcement less likely to get coverage. In a case like this, the story of the launch is no longer relevant because it happened a month ago.
For mobile start-ups, the most appropriate approach would be to have a soft launch which consists of making the launch announcement to a select number of individuals and publications. Once the mobile application has been refined and you are comfortable with the product, a strong launch can take place with the creation and distribution of a press release.
Having a launch event can also be part of the strong launch to make the press release more appealing for journalists.
See an example press release here.
Press releases constitute part of your company’s press kit. You can strengthen your press releases by having them be accompanied with:
You can make a journalist’s job much easier, winning brownie points with them, by including images that can be used in articles. At Venturebeat and many other publications, editors do not like to use logo images (although it’s important to have several versions of your logo available if they do). Be sure to include other images that can be used by journalists in your press kit, particularly team photos and screenshots from your mobile app.