You made a great app: now what?
With over a million apps out there, getting press coverage can seem like an impossibility, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. In fact, many of the developers we work with have a very concerted and consistent effort to establish relationships with the right journalists and bloggers in order to have the story of their apps shared with the broader world.
If you’re not thinking about how to do this for your app, we urge you to start planning and thinking about how to engage with the press in a proactive manner today. The good news is that there are some basic steps you can take in order to engage with the press. Let’s take a look
Your press checklist:
- Identify and document the areas of interest that apply to your app
- Figure out what “verticals” of press coverage these areas of interest fall into. This means if your app deals with cooking, you’re not just in the tech space, but the cooking/recipes space as well.
- Make a hitlist. Not everyone in the press is right for you, but now that you’ve got the verticals of press coverage identified you can research who writes about these verticals. Be as comprehensive as possible, this is where you’re trying to cast a wide net.
- Figure out what is different and special about your app. List out the benefits and the things you think are unique.
- Take that list and craft your “elevator pitch”. Your goal is to be able to quickly describe your app in terms of benefits and uniqueness in 15 seconds. Take the time to get this right – test it on your friends, experiment with a number of options until you’re very happy with it
- Have a live product page on your own site that gives an overview of your app, shows screenshots, demos etc
- Pick 2 screenshots that really do a great job of highlighting your app’s benefits and uniqueness
- Make a video or screencast that’s less than a minute long and really conveys how your app is used and why
- Craft your first message to a journalist on the list and send it to them (from a real address!).
- Your subject line should be your app name and maybe your benefit
- Quickly convey your 15 second overview
- Include links to your product page and the link to the relevant app store
- Include the 2 screenshots you’ve made
- Link to the video you’ve made
- Include your contact information so they can contact you
- If you don’t hear back from the person you’ve sent the message to, follow up politely, to see if they received the message after a week or so
- If the message is responded to favorably, send a similar version to 10 more people on your hitlist
- If the message isn’t responded to favorably, tweak it some, try to tighten it up and make it more impactful and then try it with 2 more people on your list
- Repeat until you start seeing favorable responses and then broaden your outreach to your entire list
- Stay in touch with each of the people who invites a dialog, building a relationship with each of the people. Remember, journalists are people too and the more you can establish yourself as someone they know and trust, the easier it will be for them to write about you over time.
Bonus: what the press says about getting press
Our checklist above has been compiled as a result of the experience of our customers and what the press has stated publicly about how to communicate with them. Take a look at some of the articles below to get even more advice, straight from the source:
Paul Sawers take for all startups
Erica Sadun of TUAW shared her viewpoints over on the app design vault
Some tips from Matt Rosoff and Jolie O’Dell, courtesy of the guardian
Some slides from Martin Bryant of the Next Web: Pitching your Startup or App to the Media