Writing a press release has two main purposes: it takes some of the work out of reporting on the release of your app (which news sites will love, because it makes their lives easier) and allows you to control the initial perception of your app. The aim here is to create awareness amongst your target audience and gain some interest on blogs/news sites.
If you get blogs and news sites talking about your app, you’ll naturally increase awareness with your target audience – but you also want to make sure that it’s the right kind of awareness.
Bloggers usually share the interests of their readers, but they may be more technically interested or have greater expertise than their audience. News sites are typically less of a problem, since they are less about personal opinion and more about audience-focused reporting.
So, as well as intriguing bloggers, a good press release will steer them towards helping to sell your app to the intended audience rather than a select few hardcore enthusiasts.
Some other points to consider:
- Timing: when you decide to put out your press release is important. There will be optimum times of the week in terms of blog readership levels. Find out what they are and really push to get your app talked about on those days.
- SEO: just as you want to ensure your website hits the right keywords, make sure your press release shows up prominently in search results. Publishers will love this because it will drive traffic to their sites (making them more likely to publish it) and it will increase the likelihood that your audience will actually find it if they don’t subscribe to the blog it’s posted on.
- Avoid feature lists: the purpose of a press release is to generate some excitement or enthusiasm around your app. Don’t list every feature, focus on what makes your app distinctive when compared with your competitors: what’s unique about what you offer and why should your target audience be excited about that? If it’s something every app does, you can probably skip mentioning it.
- Link to the App Store: don’t just link to your website. Make sure you also provide direct links to the App Store or Google Play. If a press release has been really successful your target audience may just want to go try it out. Don’t force them to jump through the unnecessary hoop of visiting your website first.
I’d also recommend wikiHow’s (more general) article on writing press releases. It doesn’t deal with app-specific stuff, but you’ll get a good idea of how to structure a release, how long it should be, what you should focus on, etc.