Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Writing Your Press Release

Press releases are a software marketing tool. Software developers won't get much of a response from the editors if they simply use their news release to tell an interesting story about their software. microISVs have to craft a sales message in the proper format, and it has to perform two functions.

First, a software press release has to capture the editors' attention. If it does, chances are good that they'll print it in their magazines or newspapers, or post it on their news sites or blogs.

Second, developers have to write their sales presentations effectively for their end-users - the prospects who will ultimately make the software-buying decision.

Your press release has to perform both of these functions, without resorting to sales hype.

Software press release writers get better with experience. So microISVs can start climbing the learning ladder and write the press release themselves. Or developers can hire an experienced software marketing professional to write their press releases. Choose a native English-speaking person to do the writing. And choose somebody who knows the proper format, structure, and flow for crafting a press release about desktop/laptop, Android, iPhone/iPad, or SaaS software.

When deciding whether to write your press release yourself or hire a professional, you'll find that product knowledge is a two-sided coin. Surely you know your software better than any outsider ever could. But you might be too close to your software. You might be in love with a program feature that took you two months to write, and it's natural for you to talk about it in your press release. But an outsider is more likely to write a balanced press release that emphasizes the features that would most benefit your prospects, and not the features that were tricky to code.

If you hire a marketing pro to write your press release, be sure that he or she has a background in computer and smartphone software. An experienced press release writer who doesn't know computers and iOS/Android simply can't craft a good software press release.

Writing a press release is more of an exercise in software marketing than in writing. Your press release writer needs to understand your competitors' software, and how you want to position your application in the marketplace. Is your software the easiest to use, or the most full-featured, or the best supported, or the most affordable? Product positioning should be at the center of attention when designing and writing your press release.

New Product Announcements put your software in front of thousands of prospects.

Be certain that your prospects are finding write-ups about your computer, tablet, and iPhone/Android applications in the blogs, magazines, and newspapers. Send news releases regularly to the media, and keep your name in prospects' memory.

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