Issue 15 of Marketing for early-stage startups
You have decided that PR is a good tactic for you, but how do you get the journalists’ attention? Here's my checklist:
What’s the news? Why is this relevant for the potential readers? Think through different angels, perspectives, target groups and more. This is the most important step.
Get the timing right. Try to connect your news to something bigger that is going on. Is there a big conference coming up in your industry? Is there a holiday soon?
Write the piece. This could be either a blog post or a press release.
Identify targeted media and journalists. What readers would you like to reach? Are there journalists who have been covering this area in the past? (Hint: Yes, there always are. Do your research.)
Gather all the assets. Prepare nice pictures. They will help you get more space and sometimes even help you get the coverage itself. I once pitched the ticket release for a new theatre show, and the journalist, nor her photographer thought it was newsworthy (fair enough). But when I told them that we were releasing hundreds of balloons with personal greetings to the author of the play, who recently had passed away, the photographer immediately was interested. She joined us during the balloon release, and we were on the front page the next day with a big picture. Mission accomplished.
Pitch your story in time. Give the journalist time to do a good job, and to plan for your coverage (they might have a bigger theme coming up soon that fits your story). Pitch your story to key journalists before you send out the press release or blog post broadly.
Get an intro (if possible). It will help your email float up to the surface from the bottom of that deep inbox.