How to create release announcements

50% Draft

Goals

  • Get community excited about our momentum

  • Increase discovery of features and contributions

  • Make people feel AMAZING for contributing

  • Everything should be ready to share

    • Every paragraph feels like it's ready to copy and paste into a tweet.

    • Every person we thank who is on Twitter, we Tweet to them

Process

  • Writer drafts announce with feedback

  • Release manager checks for spelling mistakes, features included, screenshot guidelines are met

    • PMs review for features and content are technically correct

    • Marketing reviews

  • Head of PM reviews

  • CEO review

  • Blog post published

  • Tweets from blog post are queued (Tuesdays 10am PT, and Thursdays 10am if there's extra) - Writer

Checklist for review of draft:

The Release Manager (Amy Blais) owns the release announcement, including the following checklist items unless otherwise indicated:

  1. Exciting title

    1. Do not lead with a competitor parity feature

  2. Compelling, specific one-liners

    1. Introduce features with compelling, concise, specific descriptions

    2. If the feature is a filler for a release, be vague and add it at the end of the blog post, e.g. "Performance improvements to mobile" (please avoid when possible)

  3. Complete

    1. No spelling errors or broken links

    2. All features PM team wants to highlight are included

      1. (PM team owns) Check for technical accuracy and statement of benefits

    3. (Author owns) All contributors are recognized with a screenshot

      1. Names should not be red-underlined (if they are, add them to the dictionary prior to taking a screenshot)

      2. Screenshot not surrounded by a border

      3. Below the screenshot, include a text version of their names in small font with a link to their GitHub handle

  4. Screenshots

    1. Do not use screenshots rated at high quality

      1. (Author owns) Rate each image High, Medium, Low quality

        1. High - Beautiful, highly compelling, grabs attention in a social stream

        2. Medium - Tells a story clearly, readable text, right size

        3. Low - Bare minimum to call an image

    2. (Author owns) Draft Tweet text for all screenshots included

      1. Contains version hashtag, e.g. #mm518

Style Guidelines

  1. Highlight past successes: Cross link to promote traffic

  2. Links tell a story: Links should indicate the content they lead to without clicking, avoid "read this blog post" and instead "learn more about the incident response alpha program"

Screenshot Guidelines

Learn how to create screenshots and GIFs

One great screenshot a month

  1. Each monthly release R&D should aspire to come up with a "Hero" screenshot following guidelines to use as the splash image for the release.

  2. Communicate primary benefit in the title

    • Use plugins not plug-ins

  3. If a screenshot isn't available to highlight in the release use a conceptual banner based on R&D Twitter Banner Template (shown below)

Example of tweet using banner template
Screenshot for templates for announcements and Twitter banners, including guides