What is a Press Release? Should you care as a developer?

Why bother? And how to get started without getting overwhelmed.

Published: Dec. 12, 2021
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According to Wiki, a Press Release is:

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.

That seems to say a lot but also seems abstract. For our purposes, we can think of a press release as more structured information about our app to send to journalists. It doesn’t have to be complicated. I would advise against finding some templates because they are usually too complicated with unneeded stuff.

Why?

Chances are, you want your app to get noticed by the press. You can let the press know that your app just got a significant update with a press release. Journalists will immediately see the purpose of your email, and you don’t have to think about introducing your app.

You can send out an email containing the press release with each new update. It is a natural part of how the press works, and you can get some form of legitimacy compared to sending emails with subjects like “My indie app just got updated.”

Journalists are also accustomed that a press release contains all necessary information they need for covering your app - this makes it more likely your press release gets read and covered.

How

Now let's look at how you would create a press release. Your goal is to get the attention as soon as possible. So ideally, your title (which you will also use as an email subject) should capture the main message.

For example:

AppX adds support for new iOS 14 widgets

The email subject would be:

[Press Release] AppX adds support for new iOS 14 widgets

Then the first paragraphs of your press release will elaborate on what kind of information the widgets show and what sizes are available.

The last paragraph is usually used as a refresher on what your app does and what is unique. Chances are the journalist won't remember your app, so it is best to include a short general description.

Once you write this general paragraph, you can use it in subsequent press releases.

At the end of this press release, you will add links to Press Kit, AppStore page, and similar. And possibly offer a promo code if the features aren't available for free.

Real-world example

I have recently added a new theme to my app SwitchBuddy and wanted to test how the press would receive the press release. So I created this one, and it resulted in coverage by iMore.

With press releases, it is understood that journalists can freely use any content that you provide. This is a nice way how to boost your chances. If you provide a bullet list of features, for example, they can copy it with very little work, give more value to the reader, and you don't risk the writer misrepresenting your app's features.

Press releases with ImpressKit

To make press releases management and distribution more manageable, I have built these directly into ImpressKit. You can easily create press releases with Markdown formatting available online with responsive pages and available from your press kit page.

Link to your Press Kit and other links (added as part of a specific press kit) are automatically displayed at the end of each press release - so you don't have to worry about sending a link to your press release and forgetting to link to your press kit as well.

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WRITTEN BY

Filip Němeček @nemecek_f

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? 👀