App Store Fame and Fortune With Public Relations. Dave Boone's Struzzi
App Store Fame and Fortune With Public Relations
Copyright 2012 Dave Struzzi,
All rights reserved.
Published in eBook format by eBookIt.com
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.
First and foremost, I would like to thank the various individuals who gave me the opportunity to start and continue my journey in the public relations world: Joanna Kulesa and Angelique Faul, principals at Kulesa Faul; Julie Tangen, PR director at Kulesa Faul; Harvey Bolgla, principal at DBA Public Relations; and Sara Trujillo, senior vice president at DBA Public Relations.
I am grateful to the hundreds of clients and executives that I have worked alongside during my public relations career. This book is made possible by the experiences I have shared with each of them.
Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends for the encouragement and advice they have given me to create this book.
Founder and CEO
The success of app stores has put dollar signs in the eyes of many app developers. Aside from the potential payoff in terms of app sales, high profile acquisitions of app developers continue to make headlines. If a single photo sharing app can go from zero downloads to millions of downloads, and eventually a billion dollar payday, so can yours. If a single drawing game app can go from zero downloads to a $200 million dollar payday, so can yours.
But of course, as a developer you’re not the only one vying for a big payday. The competition is fierce, so knowing how to get your app into the spotlight is a necessity. Public relations gets you into the spotlight and makes sure your product stay there.
This is a book for newcomers to the public relations world (current experts will learn a great deal as well) and is ultimately a guide to strategies and tactics that will build your app brand.
This book is a powerful resource that will help your app become famous, sell impressively, and succeed through fame.
What’s the deal?
Chapter 1 – Public relations...What’s the deal?
“If you build it, they will come.”
That’s a take on a famous line from the Kevin Costner classic Field of Dreams, a movie about a man who builds a baseball field in the middle of nowhere, after having a prophetic vision of its success. In the end, the character’s baseball field is a resounding success, attracting hundreds of patrons from miles away.
As inspiring as the story is, when the story is translated into the business world, the premise simply doesn’t work. Building an incredible product does not guarantee you an instant audience. In the app world, if you want an audience you have to earn it.
The Power of PR
An old colleague once described public relations as the “fairy dust” that gets sprinkled on a product to make it shine. In the Peter Pan tales, fairy dust combined with a “happy thought” equaled the marvelous spectacle of flight that made Pan legendary.
Public relations does to your product what fairy dust did for Peter Pan. It allows you to soar above your competitors, build a legendary status, and when mixed with the “happy thought” that is your product, the sky is the limit. Without it, even the most ambitious and extraordinary products are stuck on the ground.
That is a big problem in the mobile, tablet, and Web app industries because of how crowded the marketplace has become. Millions of apps currently exist. Even the number of app marketplaces has continued to grow. With each one vying for the public’s attention, getting yours downloaded is not going to be an easy task. That fact alone can be disillusioning enough for developer to avoid the industry all together. After all, why spend hundreds of hours creating the best app in the world, if it’s just going to get drowned out by the thousands of average apps cooked up by developers that are out there to make a quick buck? It’s become a bloated, loony world for app developers, one where even the best apps in the world are relegated to the bottom of the charts without proper exposure to the masses.
A developer once told me that his app got the biggest bump in downloads by word of mouth. Essentially, he would show ten friends his app at a technology conference, or even at a dinner table, and they in turn would tell ten of their own friends.
Public relations essentially works the same way. The only difference? With public relations, you can tell ten friends about your app, and they in turn tell millions of people about it. Getting the right people to talk about your app is as good as gold.
Of course, these “friends” aren’t just normal people. They are reporters, bloggers, and broadcasters at media outlets that get bombarded for attention by developers just like you, because of the potential reward involved.
Just exactly how big can these rewards get?
To put things in perspective, some of the most popular websites for technology news get over 3 million unique visitors per month. If even 10 percent of its readers read about your app there and decide to download it, that’s over 300,000 new users! And if you are charging even $1 for a download, that’s a lot of green!
Getting your app featured on just one of these sites is enough to skyrocket your app to the top. As an added bonus, once it is written about, your app is featured on their website forever, which can result in future downloads, without any further effort. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
You don’t have to look far to see the results in action either. At the time of this writing, all 50 of the top grossing iPhone app developers have used public relations to drive downloads and keep themselves on the charts. In a nutshell, winners use PR, those that don’t get stuck at the bottom of the charts.
Public relations versus advertising
You might be asking yourself, “If media outlets have enough clout or influence to make my app the ‘next big thing,’ why can’t I just place an advertisement on their websites or in their magazines?”
Advertisements are a good way to go if you’ve got a lot of money to spend. Besides being incredibly expensive, one of its big weaknesses is that the audience simply doesn’t care about them. When was the last time you were happy to have an interesting article you were reading interrupted by pages of ads in a magazine? When was the last time you were genuinely interested in an ad that played before an online video that you wanted to watch? In all likelihood, you’re probably frantically looking for the “close” button as soon as they begin. Advertisements can be the thorn in the sides of readers and viewers alike.
Its other big weakness is (like a good sale at your favorite clothing store) that once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Advertisements are ephemeral by nature. Brands get their message to the viewer in 30 seconds and hope they’ll remember it when they get to the store. Likewise, once a reader turns the page of an advertisement in a magazine,