Whether you’re launching a new game or the latest Instagram-killing app, the press kit is one of the most important parts of your assets. The press kit helps show off your app to its full potential, and it also provides the reporters with one place where they can find everything they need. Unfortunately, the press kit is usually neglected altogether, or thrown together haphazardly and poorly.
Why do I need a press kit?
You want to make it easier to clue in journalists and bloggers about your app, right? Do you want to send an email out answering the same questions a hundred times, or have those questions already answered. If you said you want to have those questions already answered, then you already know why you need a press kit.
The press kit makes everyone’s lives easier. The journalist can use it to find out more about your app before reaching out and waiting for you to reply. The editor can get a quick feel for your app and decide if someone should write about it. As for you, it will save you countless hours of replying to emails that end up all saying the same thing.
Okay, I’m sold, so how do I create a press kit?
A great press kit will have five key elements: a review guide, screenshots, lifestyle photos, icons, and video. If you manage to include all of these elements, your press kit is automatically better than the ones for about 99.9% of other apps out there (that might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point.) Let’s take a look at these crucial elements.
1. Review Guide
Your review guide should present the reader with enough information that they can quickly get up to speed with what your app does and how to use it or play it. Think of it like a Getting Started guide, but tailored for journalists and bloggers.
Put together a PDF outlining what your app does, how it works, and go into detail about the feature set. You should also include pricing, system requirements, release information, frequently asked questions, links, and your contact information. Apple’s Pages app is great for doing review guides, as is Google Docs.
Here’s an example review guide that I created for oSnap which was featured on The Next Web.
Next, you should provide a collection of screenshots that are suitable for the publication to use in its coverage. Make your app look its best, and take your time getting it right. Some of the worst screenshots I’ve ever seen had misspelled words, typographical errors, or push notifications showing up at the top of the screen. If you show the status bar, make sure it shows a sensible time, a fully battery, and a good cellular or Wi-Fi connection.
Whatever you do, don’t just use your promotional App Store screenshots. Journalists prefer raw shots of your app, either because they don’t want the marketing text that tend to be present on App Store apps or because the images are going to be comped into devices to produce lifestyle photos.
3. Lifestyle photos
Speaking of lifestyle photos, it’s a great idea to include some yourself. Some sites like raw screenshots, some prefer a natural type of shot, and others will use a combination of both. Providing the reporter with awesome photography of your app being used makes you look more professional, and it helps their site, too.
4. Icons, logos, and banners
Next, you want to include your app icon. If you provide it in various sizes and formats, that saves the reporter from having to spend time converting it or resizing it. If you’re sending to an online publication, .PNG files are best because they’re lossless and support transparency. On the other hand, if you are sending your media kit to a print publication, they’ll probably want a .EPS file.
If you have a company logo and/or any app branding, you should include that, too. A banner is nice, as well, but it isn’t essential. Still, it’s good practice to include a banner, and Apple will request one from you anyways if they want to possibly feature your app. You can get all the nitty gritty details about the App Store banner artwork from Apple’s Web page.
Last, how about video? If you’ve produced a promotional video for your app, include a link to it in the press kit. Make sure you host your video on both YouTube and Vimeo, for increased exposure. YouTube makes it easy for the journalist to embed your video, as does Vimeo.
Bonus: Make sure you’re telling your story
When you start developing your press kit, make sure it’s telling a story. The most interesting people and apps have very deep, compelling stories behind them. You want to show your app to the world, but the best way to get their attention is to tell the story.
Your press kit is important, to be sure, but make sure you pay close attention to what’s inside it. Does the review guide tell the story behind the app? Do the screenshots illustrate what problems the app can solve? If your answer to those questions is no, then you need to take a step back and figure out what you need to change to tell the story and let people know the problem you’re solving, and how your app is the best solution.
Just including a press kit at all is more than many apps even bother to do during their press outreach. But if you’re going to take the time to do it, why not do it right?
Include all of the key elements we’ve discussed, and make sure your press kit tells your story. Do that, and you’ll really stand out from the crowd and excite the journalists so much they won’t be able to help but write about you.
Now I run an app marketing agency where we’ve helped 8 clients get featured by Apple, 5X downloads with ASO, and get coverage on Techcrunch, Mashable, Venture Beat and other major publications. I also write about apps on The Next Web, Entrepreneur.com, and on my blog AppMasters.co.