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Using News Stories to Market Your Software

January 14th, 2012

newsworthy press releases are good software marketingYou can get free publicity for your software if you link it to a popular news story. Tech editors and bloggers are curious about press releases that describe software with interesting features and benefits. But it’s better if you can attract a wider audience of writers and columnists. Editors representing every beat, from business to lifestyle, are looking for an interesting angle for covering a newsworthy story.

Many of you know Alex Krivov as the guy who runs jProductivity, the company that offers Protection Licensing Toolkit to keep pirates from stealing your software. Alex’s company also offers InstaTodo, a to-do list manager for iPhone and iPad that lets you create custom, reusable to-do list templates.

How do you get editors interested in telling their readers about yet another to-do app? The proven approach is to talk about its unique usage of reusable templates. Another approach is to send a press release that talks about InstaTodo’s built-in capabilities to manage an imminent emergency such as Hurricane Irene.

Hurricane Irene confronted millions of Americans with the urgent need to somehow prepare their families as this huge storm threatened to devastate the eastern part of the United States. InstaTodo users, however, were prepared with expert guidance. And the InstaTodo press release offered concrete ideas that would help people prepare for the storm.

jProductivity partnered with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide InstaTodo users with Emergency To-Do lists, including FEMA’s Emergency Supply Kit, First Aid Kit, Unique Family Needs, Emergency Food Supply, and Useful Government and Non-Profit Organization Links.

InstaTodo users didn’t rush to grocery stores, trying to guess how many batteries to buy, or how much food and bottled water to purchase. With just a tap or two in InstaTodo, they had all of the information that they needed.

With thousands of editors and columnists looking for a fresh approach to reporting on the fast-approaching Hurricane Irene, Alex sent them the news story that they needed. Here’s PC World Magazine’s today@PCWorld blog posting covering the press release.

Many software developers can use today’s hottest news stories to help market their products or services. Start by thinking about how your software can benefit people in your target audience. For each group of prospects that you target, create a benefits profile that describes how their day-to-day activities would be enhanced by your software.

Next, think through how your software can be tied to current news items. How can your software users benefit from your application during a time of economic turbulence? How can your software help people land their next job? Will your program make people’s leisure time more relaxing, exciting, or fulfilling? Can you tie your application to a particular holiday?

Find a way to link your software to today’s hottest news stories, and your income will go up. It’s good software marketing.

– by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Glossary guy

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