4 reasons why ZIP file Press Kit isn't an ideal solution

You may be losing press coverage because of this.

Published: Dec. 2, 2021
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Anecdotally from what I have seen, it seems that offering Press Kits as a downloadable .zip file is pretty popular among iOS developers. Let's look at why this approach isn't very ideal.

Aside: What is a Press Kit? Very simply a bundle of resources developers provided to journalists to use in articles and other forms of content. These are typically screenshots and some forms of text description.

Issues with download speeds

For a journalist downloading a ZIP file is an extra hassle and can be slow. Internet is generally fast nowadays, but you can easily hit a slow connection to a particular server due to various issues. Often journalists will be checking out your press kit even before deciding if they will write about your app.

The thing is that there are so many apps and so much stuff to cover that they need to be pretty selective and optimize time spent writing individual articles. Seeing if a nice press kit with all the required resources is available is part of this process. In these exploratory cases, I believe it can easily mean your app won't get covered if checking the press kit requires downloading a file, and for some reason, that is slow.

Issues with navigating the press kit

It is not just the download phase. Journalists then need to unzip the file (and deal with resulting clutter later), and then - depending on the folder structure - it can take extra time to get to screenshots and description. Feel free to try this yourself to see if good-looking screenshots are available and what the app offers (feature-wise and free/paid split if applicable).

Not to mention that these files are often named just Press-kit.zip, which is evident for the individual developer, but then the journalist may end up with a lot of folders called "press kit" in the Downloads folder.

It's not ideal for some content types

While ZIP files may work okay for screenshots, it is another matter when you want to include a textual description of your app. I have often seen developers using just plain TXT files, which are not very readable in most editors they get opened. PDF is the better option there.

Videos are another thing. It does not make sense to provide them as part of the press kit. It will make it too large, and journalists won't bother uploading them somewhere to include them in the article.

Links to public YouTube videos are better, but this will be another hassle unless you have hyperlinks in your PDF. Just try opening the TXT file on your iPad with video links and measure the time it takes you to get to the actual video.

Hassle to update

Another issue - that will impact you - is keeping this ZIP file updated. Because even tiny edits require you to create a new archive and re-upload it, the more difficult it is to update your press kit, the less likely you will do it. A hard-to-update press kit may quickly become obsolete and not reflect the current state of your app.

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Filip Němeček @nemecek_f@iosdev.space

iOS blogger and developer with interest in Python/Django. Want to see most recent projects? 👀

iOS blogger and developer with interest in Python/Django. Want to see most recent projects? 👀