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Tips for Music Software Developers: The Press Release
Quick Tip #2: The Press Release
A press release is one of the most important steps a software developer needs to take when they’re ready to market their software. Setting up a website and waiting for hoards of customers to come and buy your new music app means just about all your going to do is wait. You’re going to need some help getting that traffic and that’s where a press release comes in.
So how is a press release going to help your software?
News coverage is one of the best ways to get people to check out your software and a press release is an effective way to get such coverage. Not only that, link-backs from any news sites will help improve your search engine results.
Still, few developers send PR out. Those that do are often the very large software companies, with only a small percentage of music software PR coming from the little guys. Time and resources are obviously a reason behind this. When you don’t have a dedicated PR guy, a press release may seem pretty low on the to-do list.
However, I think it’s a much better idea to spend an hour or two writing a brief press release than having none at all.
A good press release from a smaller software company:
One smaller developer, Blue Cat Audio, always sends out PR in regards to new software releases or updates, and I for one always run them on Hitsquad. They are a great example of a simple press release done right.
Here’s a sample of Blue Cat’s PR for Widening Meter Pro:
Blue Cat Audio has announced the release of Blue Cat's Widening Meter Pro, a DirectX and VST plug-in for Windows that measures the RMS and Peak level of the mid and side channels. Thanks to its advanced MIDI and automation features, it is possible to monitor the mono compatibility of a mix as well as phase cancelation issues…
As you can see from the full release, it’s simple and conveys a number of key pieces of information.
1) What software has been released
2) What kind software it is.
3) What the software will do for you.
4) The software’s main features.
5) Where you can get it, and for how much.
The best press releases are the simple ones that give the journalist the information they need. Sparking an idea for an interesting story won’t hurt either, but let’s just worry about the basics for now. And you know the best way to learn how to write one is checking out others. Don’t copy them, just use them as a guide.
Some important formalities you should follow:
1) Include the date and your location at the beginning of your first paragraph, or at least somewhere at the top of your release. Eg: Brisbane, Australia - November 28, 2006 – Hitsquad.com has released a…
2) Include ‘FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE’ at the very top of your release if you would like news services to run with the news straight away. Use something like ‘FOR RELEASE JAN 2 2007’ if you would like your release held until a certain date.
3) Include contact details for the media at the end such as your name, email, business address and phone.
4) Make sure you remember your website address!
What about screenshots?
Personally it’s up to you and the method in which your submitting or sending your press release as whether to include a screenshot. I find the best solution is to include a link in the release to where the media can download your screenshot on the web.
Where do you send your press release once it’s done?
You can start by sending it to Hitsquad for starters, then any of the other music software websites. Also, submit it to MI2N, a free service which allows you to submit music related releases. If you have some cash to spare and you think your release is news worthy to not just the music press but mainstream media, you could also try one of the wire websites like prnewswire.com.
A couple of creative tips for your press release:
1) Leave anything to do with revolution to John Lennon and The Veronicas. If I see another press release with ‘revolutionary,’ ‘the best ever,’ or ‘groundbreaking’ I’ll scream.
2) Don’t puff up your software. Give the impression it was written by an unbiased source.
Writing a press release does take some practice. Just remember to keep it simple and to the point and you won’t risk confusing the heck out of me :D
There are 3 year university degree’s devoted to PR, so obviously the above is far from being the definitive guide. Search Google and you will find there are many tutorials for writing press releases.
For some general guides see:
How to Write a Press Release
Writing a Release