Putting together a great pitch will take some time, which is something many startups don’t have enough of. Instead of trying to peach to everyone that hears, you should narrow it down by identifying a couple of media outlets that are at the top of your list. Going for the second place is a sure way of failing, so start with the press that you want. Identify these journalists that write for the media outlets you prefer – go through their work and follow them on social media platforms.
Doing this will help in identifying the person that will be most interested in your pitch. You want to identify a specific journalist or staffer then create a pitch that is tailored specifically for them, even if you are not going to send it to them directly. If you are planning to submit the pitch mention that you would like to be forwarded to the given individual.
Tailoring your Story is Central to a PR Strategy
In order to get media coverage, your story must be relevant to the current results, and also topical. Your main task is persuading the journalist that the story is newsworthy because if they think there is something valuable they can write about, the customers are going to want to read it. The article will prove to be a way more cost-effective way of raising credibility and profile of your brand than the equivalent advertising space.
You should be targeting national, local, and industry publications too. The product you have might be one story, but your business is another. As the owner of a small business, you can make comments on tax issues, budget news, and recent research and how it has an effect on the audience of the journalist.
You Should Never send out a Generic and Copy/paste pitch as Part of a PR Strategy
Editors and journalists are able to smell a copy/paste job from a mile away. If they suspect that you have done this and sent the email to every address you could get, they will most likely delete it because they see it as a waste of their time. They are usually blasted with generic requests on a daily basis – make sure you pitch is specifically tailored for the editors, journalist, and the publication they are working for.
If they see your email as being genuine, they will respond to it. You should not change the name of the journalist and the outlet. If for example you send out an email to someone working with Venture Beat but the pitch says how much you love reading Tech Crunch, then there is a risk of your startup getting blacklisted. If you want to get good results, you should not be lazy. Put in the effort.
Press Relationships are Two-Sided
Reporters are not there so they can tell the story of your company. Their main goal is serving their readers with the truth and giving them information that could have an impact on their lives. Online sites will be thinking about clicks and ads that will have an impact on the angle and headline of your story. Think about the stories you usually read on the New York Times business section or a favorite site of yours. You should be working with the PR team so that you can be able to come up with stories that tell the readers about your brand while being interesting at the same time because you don’t want to be a victim of the editing floor.
Your team should focus on creating a narrative and button up the message by looking at all the different scenarios for the reporter to take the story and deal with it in an upfront manner and also to help in avoiding sensational headlines. A good way of doing this is bringing in other voices to your story – partners, customers, researchers, etc. The PR team will be faced with two main roles, building and protecting your brand and controlling the story being written by helping in crafting a solid story and also share strong sources.
For Press, Press Releases are Dead.
But releases can be of help in terms of sales, closing a contract, and showing a success. When it reaches a time you wish to go public, they will be important because you will have a history of launches, partnerships, and also new customers, which is good for investor relations. The majority of the news about your brand comes from your blog. With a blog, you have the freedom of having a branded voice and you can be a little fun too, which is not possible when dealing with a press release. Press releases are created in a structured way because they are news driven, that’s why they don’t sound like blog posts, but that doesn’t mean a press release can’t be fun. Your press release should read like it was written by a human for actual humans, and not robots. Your press release should be easy to read. Always make sure you are keeping it real.
Your pitch should not sound like a press release. Go straight to the point and avoid boring fluff.
Have you ever read a press release that knocked your socks off? It is safe to assume the answer is no. If you look at most of the press releases out there, they are boring fluff containing statistics with some boring quotes. You should never expect to get a response when you send out a pitch that sounds like a press release. What always wins is having a short pitch packed with details and shoots straight to the point.
We get inquiries from startups on a daily basis, most of them asking for advice. A common thing they say is that they don’t have any marketing budget, but they shoot right to the point and this grabs our attention – and this is because they have a unique selling proposition – we normally give them some advice and suggestions.
The main goal should be short and straight to the point and also having an attention-grabbing element. This is the same approach you should use when sending your pitch to a journalist. If they are able to get an understanding of your startup and also grab their attention in a couple of sentences, then that increases your chances of getting a reply.
Startups need to put in a little more effort when it comes to getting the attention of the press. You should focus on making as many news cycles as you can. Creating new announcements through holding information for key moments in time will prove to be a good idea. You should try spreading the strong announcements so that you can get more time. If you have two or three things that aren’t able to stand on their own, bundle them together and release. When you are launching something, you should be looking for ways of boosting it, and this can be through analyst quotes, partnerships, new customer, etc. As the head or CEO, you can tell your business teams to work together so as to achieve a goal for the business. One mistake you should never make is thinking that because the thing you are launching is interesting, it will automatically get covered. One way to ensure success is making the announcement news, which means it is something that has not been discussed in public. There are many different stories publications want to cover, and many of them don’t have enough staff to do this. Share information that the public did not know about so that your story doesn’t get cut.
PR will need Direct Access to the CEO:
One of the best things is having CEO invest in communications with PR. If you look at some of the most successful team, you will notice there is a direct line of communication between them and the CEO. There are teams that I have seen that are under the marketing department, but they communicate with the CEO more than they do with the CMO. The PR team will also need to have your time. If you make the mistake of burying your PR team under levels in the organization, you will not be getting the expected results. Invest your time.
If Doing PR for a Startup Have Tenacity
This is one of the most important factors when it comes to making your campaign a success. If you have a good plan in place and invest time and effort into it, whether you have a PR expert or not, you will be able to see some great results. You will reap the rewards.
You should keep in mind that PR is not a tap that you can turn on and off as you please – it involves momentum. You should be vocal, consistent, and prolific. The customers will not forget you when they keep reading about you in the press regularly.
Get in touch with us if your startup wants to talk about how it can improve its PR