The Anatomy of a Press Release

All press releases have some common components: the headline, the body, company information, and contact information. For an Android app press release, you will want to have a headline, body, company website, and a link to your app. An example of an Android app press release is shown in Figure 9.4 and includes all of the previously mentioned components.

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Figure 9.4 An example of an Android app press release.

When using one of the online organizations to launch and distribute your press release, you can write up the press release using Word and then you simply copy and paste into an online form. We will discuss several of the more popular online PR firms at the end of this chapter.

The format for an Android app press release is fairly standard. Once you have created one press release, you can use the same layout for other press releases you may create in the future. The biggest challenge of the press release is not the layout but writing the creative copy to convey your message. This is where the key values you identified in Chapter 3, "Identifying Your App's Unique Value," will come in handy. You will want to use those key value statements in either the headline or the body of your press release. Table 9.1 shows the elements of an Android app press release, along with each section's characteristics.

Table 9.1

Android App Press Release Components and Characteristics

Components

Characteristics

Headline

Eye-catching, 20 words or less

Summary

Builds off headline, two sentences

Body

Supporting content, two to three paragraphs

Contact info

Your website, link to Android Market

Writing Your Headline

Your headline is the first component of your press release and will be displayed at the top of your press release's web page. The headline is where you attract the readers' attention and entice them to read on. This sentence or two must be crisp and provocative. This is your hook to get readers pulled in. If you fail to capture readers with the headline, the chances of them reading on are slim.

You also want to make sure you are using keywords or phrases in your headline that will be picked up by search engines. These keywords will help your press release to be pushed along when prospective buyers perform a search. For example, the phase "new Android game" or "new Android app" works well to help your headline to be picked up by Google, Yahoo!, and others. Here are some examples of not-so-good headlines, each followed by a rewrite to make them into good headlines:

Not-so-good headline:

"Android Developer Announces New Android Game" Good headline:

"New Highly Interactive Android Game RasterBlaster HS Math Hits Android Market This Week"

Not-so-good headline:

"Scientific Android App Ready to Sell on Android Market This Week" Good headline:

"Science4School Group Releases New Chemtastic Android App for High School Students on Android Market"

Not-so-good headline:

"New Android App Helps People with Their Bills" Good headline:

"New MoreMoney Android App Helps People Manage Their Finances and Save Money Instantly"

Hopefully you can see the difference between the headlines in these three examples. You have to approach writing the headline from the standpoint that your reader knows absolutely nothing about your app. Often when writing we take "leaps" in our explanations because our minds tend to fill in the blanks. You must assume that your reader will not fill in any blanks about your app. You must clearly state what you're announcing.

Use the name of your app in your product announcement. If someone does a search for educational games, for example, your app's press release and product website are more likely to show up because you have seeded the search results.

Notice that your headline should not be lengthy. Most headlines are 20 words or less. Again, this will challenge your writing skills to see how crisp you can be in creating a headline that is eye-catching and includes your app's name, your brand's name (if you have one), and some keywords to help those search engines find you.

Your headline must also be a lead in to your summary, which will be discussed in the next section. The headline is the setup for the entire press release. Your readers must be able to grasp immediately the essence of your announcement so that they want to know more about it and will read on, at least to the summary section. If you can get them to read the headline and the summary, they are most likely to read the body of the press release as well.

Summary Copy

The next step in writing a successful Android app press release is to create a powerful summary statement. The summary builds off the headline and is two to three sentences that succinctly cover what your press release is all about. With your headline and summary statement, your readers must be able to grasp all the key information about your app and why this is a newsworthy announcement. If you can get your audience to read these two pieces of information, you are well on your way to having a successful press release.

The summary does not need to repeat the heading, but you can add some additional flavor about your app and why it is a game changer for your readers. For example, you can include the name of your company or brand if you didn't already do it in the headline. You can expand on the headline by adding more detail about the app and its importance to your readers. You want to highlight unique characteristics of your app or explain a new angle on an old problem that your app addresses. In the headline you are announcing to the world that you have a better mousetrap. In the summary you're basically explaining why you have the better mousetrap.

Keep in mind that you also want to include keywords and phrases in the summary statement that you believe will be popular with search engines. Again, write your press release with an eye toward how someone might search for your app and then make sure those keywords are being used in your headline and summary. These keywords include Android, Android apps, game apps, educational apps, lifestyle apps (or any other Android Market category that fits your app), Android Market, smartphones, and mobile phones.

Using a couple of the examples from the previous section, we'll now add summary statements to them:

Headline:

"New Highly Interactive Android Game RasterBlaster HS Math Hits Android Market This Week"

Summary

"RasterCorp expands its lineup of Android games apps by adding a new interactive math game geared toward high school students. RasterBlaster HS Math offers four levels of play incorporated into learning modules for algebra, geometry, and trigonometry."

Headline

"New MoreMoney Android App Helps People Manage Their Finances and Save Money Instantly"

Summary

"MoreMoney takes the hard work out of shopping and budgeting by helping you build your own shopping list with prices automatically imported through barcode scanning. Take the MoreMoney app with you to the grocery store, scan items you typically purchase, and see your total before you get to the checkout line!"

The summary should also serve as a transition to the body of your press release. Again, the headline should link to the summary, which should in turn link to the body of your press release. Remember to give the readers more information than you gave them in the headline. A press release is designed to lead readers down a path of wanting to know more and more information about your app.

Developing the Body Copy

The next component of your press release is the body. This is where you can expand on the comments you made in the headline and the summary as well as provide supporting quotes, sample graphics, web links, and so on, to substantiate your claims. You still want to write this section with the idea that your readers know nothing about your app. But you've piqued their curiosity with the headline and summary, and now they are interested to know more. Keep your writing focused on your primary and secondary messages and don't try to say too much.

The body of the press release can be 300-800 words in length, or typically three to five paragraphs. It is, however, better to create a shorter press release than a longer one, especially in the Android app world where brevity is expected. You want to adequately convey your message but not make it so lengthy that a reader gives up on it.

One of the most powerful ways to strengthen and give credibility to a press release is by providing quotes from experts who can vouch for your app. If you are selling a game app, try to get a quote from an expert in your gaming area that will help strengthen your press release. If you are selling a financial app, try to get a quote from a financial expert. If you have a sports app, then get a sport star if you can. You get the idea.

If you have trouble getting a quote from an expert in your app's area, then get a quote from the founder of your app's company or the lead developer. If that's you, then you can include your own quote in the press release and relate your number of years of experience doing development work.

Keywords are also very important for the body of your press release. You have the space to include keywords in multiple sentences and paragraphs in the body of the press release. You want to reinforce your message in the body of the press release without going overboard.

After you have provided quotes and supporting information for your press release, you'll want to give your readers a call to action. What is it that you want your readers to do? If you want them to learn more about your app, then be sure to give them your product website address and ask them to visit. You should always include the download link to take readers directly to the Android Market to purchase your app.

Embedding links in your press release is a very powerful way to drive traffic to your product website and drive sales of your app. You want to position your web links at the right spots in your press release. Keep in mind that many online press release

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