The first press release was published in 1906. In the century since, there have been countless changes to the way they are structured, delivered, and received. Today, press releases are “basically the butter knife of the PR writers’ toolkit”. However, innovations in technology and communication mean that these exchanges between journalists and PR professionals happen in a matter of seconds. In fact, according to a survey of 100 journalists in the report "Disrupting the Press Release" by Greentarget, nearly 70% of journalists spend less than one minute reading new press releases. So, how can you make your 60 seconds matter in the mobile games industry? Read on for our top tips!
Create Media Lists
In the mobile games industry, press releases help potential customers understand why they would like this new game. Published pieces and reviews by journalists demonstrate first hand what makes this game unique when compared to similar games. If done well, a press release can:
The key starts with creating a niche media list filled with journalists who cover mobile games and app releases.
Over the past ten years, there has been a noticeable increase in the percentage of people playing mobile games in the United Kingdom. Between 2012 and 2017, the use of mobile phones to play games increased by 10% for 16-24 year olds and 12% for 25-34 year olds.
As the number of individuals playing games on their mobile devices has increased, so has the number of journalists who cover mobile game related news. Large publications like TechCrunch and WiredUK have added sections to their websites dedicated to mobile news. Publications are quickly realizing that adding a mobile section to their platform will attract younger, more technologically-savvy readers.
Razer even launched its Razer Phone 2, built to give users supreme mobile gaming power, in 2018. This marked the beginning of a shift in the mobile gaming market as developers consider smartphones as viable platforms for new, full-fledged experiences.
It is important to craft a media list of journalists who are truly interested in what your story is about. The Digital Marketing Institute suggests:
“One simple, effective way is to email the journalists and bloggers that are the most likely to write about you. Search for your product or industry on Google News, then look for the journalists that write about your industry frequently.”
If a journalist frequently writes about games that are similar to the one your client is launching, then they will be much more likely to respond to your press release. Creating a robust media list with journalists who cover similar stories is integral to ensuring that your press release ends up in the inbox of the people who are most likely to write about it.
Craft Mobile-Friendly Content
Ninety-five percent of UK residents own a smartphone. This staggering percentage means that more work is being conducted on smartphones as well as computer screens. This means that journalists are increasingly likely to read your press release on their phone as well.
In 2014, Forbes posted a piece titled “What Journalists Really Think of Your Press Release”. The piece featured interviews with several executive editors and journalists at major international publications. In her interview, Jennifer Bogo, Executive Editor at Popular Science magazine, advised PR professionals against attaching their press releases as an attachment or a hyperlink. So, in order to increase the likelihood that a journalist sees and picks up your piece, paste your press release in the body of your email.
Embrace the Multimedia Press Release
Multimedia elements will demonstrate to journalists why this product launch or appointment matters. Think of these elements as necessary to transform your press release into something ready for the 21st century. In a press release about a mobile game, this would include relevant images and videos of the game, links to additional information, and other interactive elements that will make customers excited to download the new game.
Use clear and concise language in your press release. Even if the journalist who you are sending your press release to is an expert on that topic, not everyone reading their story is an expert in that subject area. So, keep it simple. If your press release can be said with fewer words, then do so. In an era of busy lives and a bombardment of requests, most journalists don’t have the time it takes to sift through a long and complicated piece.
Start with a strong headline. Headlines should sum up what the press release is about in as few words as possible. In the world of mobile games PR, this would look as simple as: “Client launches Game X in the App Store”. This will help pull in journalists who think their readers and target audience will be interested in what you have to say.
The paragraphs in your press release should move from most important information to least important information. That way if a journalist only reads half of your press release, they will at least read what you want them to read. It is easiest to think about your press release in terms of an inverted triangle: put the bulk of the information first then work your way into the specifics.
The first paragraph of your press release should address what your press release is about, whether that is a new app release, updated levels on an existing app, or an exciting new partnership.
The next paragraph should address why your app or partnership is unique. Think about what makes your app different from similar apps or how it can benefit customers’ lives.
The final paragraph should contain the “call to action” of the press release. This should explain how to download the app, which app stores it is available on, or how customers can connect with the app.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Before you hit the “Send” button, make sure you double and triple check for grammatical errors in your story. No journalist will take you seriously if your press release is chalked full of grammatical errors. Be sure to take extra care with often misspelled and misused words like they’re/their and its/it’s. Understand how to use commas and semicolons in AP style and take extra caution to adhere to these style rules.
Once your press release is edited to perfection, make sure to include you and your company’s contact information at the bottom of the release. This should include your name, phone number and email.
In the end, one of the most important things to do explain why your app matters. It is important to find the value in your story through the unique qualities of your app. It is hard work to find a creative angle that hasn’t been done before. But, hard work will pay off. According to a 2014 Business Wire Media Survey, 62% of journalists surveyed said that their most sought-after stories related to press releases with interesting story angles. This shows that having a new angle makes journalists increasingly likely to read and write about your release.
Armed with these top tips, you are ready to write a compelling, innovative, 21st-century press release to send to the top industry journalists.