Case Study: Promotion of the YoWindow app for iPhone
More and more mobile application developers request our PR agency to help in promoting their products. We have decided to share with you our experiences and inform you about the results of PR support for an iPhone mobile application launch. We hope this article will help you to select ways and means for promotion of your own mobile application.
In February 2013, the developer of the YoWindow weather computer program for Windows, Pavel Repkin, turned to us for assistance in PR support of the YoWindow mobile version in English-speaking countires. Over several years, Pavel has been actively engaged in public relations, using all sorts of ways and means, which led to publications in several periodicals, as well as the product being mentioned in the BBC News.
However, developers, who begin PR work alone, know and understand how much time and effort this laborious task requires: analysis of the target audience, preparation of a media base and search for the contact information of specific journalists, writing and sending texts, and regular communication with the media.
THE PR CAMPAIGN GOAL
To introduce a new iPhone mobile application to the target audience in English-speaking countries (US, UK, Australia and Canada) by publications in popular media.
YoWindow is a weather application for iPhone, that shows weather conditions, the change of seasons and the time of a day graphically, with live animated landscapes, and reflects the weather outside in real time. Moreover, by moving a special slider, you can see how the weather will change during the day. In addition to accurate weather predictions, the application also displays sunrises, sunsets, and moon phases. The visual part of the application is supplemented by sound effects (the sound of rain, birds singing, thunder and roar of the waves, etc.).
TARGET AUDIENCE AND MEDIA BASE
The YoWindow weather application has a wide target audience, so the media base included not only specialized iOS resources but also resources for gardeners, fishermen, photographers and travelers.
PR TOOLS FOR PROMOTION
We decided to use a pitch letter, a prerelease and a press release as PR tools:
- pitch letter - a personal appeal to a specific journalist, which contains brief information about the product, the approximate release date of the application, and a proposal to provide the application build for testing
- prerelease - a letter with a personal appeal to a journalist, which includes the text of the press release and the official date of the press release (embargo)
- press release - an official news report with a particular form and structure
Preparation for work with media started about two and a half weeks before the release of the application on App Store, and consisted of:
- Preparation of a media base and a journalist pool interested in receiving information about this mobile application
- Preparation of a press release and a pitch letter
Sending the pitch began 10 days before the application launch date on App Store. Distribution was implemented among popular iOS publications. This was followed by the replies from journalists and requests for promo codes and the application build for testing. The day before the official release of the application, we sent a prerelease to journalists of popular publications. The final stage was sending out a press release on the day of the application's launch on the App Store to all periodicals on the list prepared by us.
After pitch letter distribution, replies were received from editors of The Guardian, The Next Web, iPhone Life, Mac Rumors, 148Apps, TUAW.
After prerelease, such publications as Maclife and TechCrunch responded. Thanks to pitch letter and prerelease distribution the majority of publications appeared on the day of the application release.List of publications on the YoWindow iPhone application
It is worth remembering that a reaction to your messages from a journalist does not always result in a publication, as it was in the case with MacLife and TechCrunch. The absence of publications on these two resources may have been associated with the release of the free competitor application Yahoo Weather the following day, about which these periodicals did write reviews.
I hope these tips will help you to successfully convey a message to the media about your mobile application and achieve the maximum number of publications and downloads.