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How to get PR pitches answered?

X
Going to do press for a new product launch next week. We have a few writers we already know and will do research on the right ones to go after, but curious to hear what has worked well for others to include in an initial email to reporters you don't know. Do you give the actual press release? Do you give exclusives, etc?

15 Replies

Arminda Figueroa
0
0
Arminda Figueroa Entrepreneur
President & Founder, Latin2Latin Marketing + Communications
Craft a pitch that brings it to life...a human story and something that would benefit their audience. Do research from prior write ups from the targeted journalists in advance and make sure your approach and style match his or hers. Hope this helps! Arminda "Mindy" Figueroa Founder and President Latin2Latin Marketing + Communications 917 742 7236 cell 954 376 4800 office Latin2latin.com Sent from my iPhone. Apologies for any typos.
Paulina Wardęga
3
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Paulina Wardęga Entrepreneur
Partner & VP of Business Development at PIXERS
I always try to show a journalist that I know his work and that I pitch him only because I think it should be of his interest and I explain why. Simple "I read your article about X and I noticed that you're interested in Y. My company has just released Q that..." will do the trick. Personalization is the key.

I also include only the most important facts about the product and a link to a press release in case he wants to know more details.
Steven Mason
5
0
Steven Mason Entrepreneur
Brand Strategist & Ideator; Patent Strategist; Patent Broker; Negotiation Expert
I'm going to tell you a secret about reporters. They don't care if they know you. They care if your story has legs. If I were personal friends with Walt Mossberg (I'm not, that's just an example), do you think that if I've got a boring product, he's going to write about it as a favor? No way. If he doesn't know me from Adam, and I've got something that his readers need to know? That's what's important. So many people ask: Whom do you know and hire on that basis. That's generally a mistake. The right question is: How do you get stories placed with people you don't know?

Look at what the reporters have written about. What do they actually care about? What do reporters want to do? Get noticed, get ahead, like everyone else! You have to think about how what you're doing relates to them. You have to consider the salience of whom they write for (or if they're a freelancer, whom they're pitching to).

There may be multiple angles about your product. Which angle fits which reporter? Then instead of the typical banal pitch, reach out to that reporter (through whatever channel he/she requests -- if a reporter says DM me on Twitter and you email, what do you think is going to happen?! -- reach out in their preferred manner, not yours!). So this means tailoring your pitch. Which means your messaging has to be spot on.

What about what you say? Get them interested right away. If you were a reporter and the first line said: "Hi, I'm the VP of Marketing for XYZ, which just raised a $2.3 million Series A, and we are launching a major new product in that <abc> vertical market, with the launch schedule for November 15," what have you done? Nothing. Worse than nothing. You've bored them. Everyone sounds like this. You must give them a reason to care that relates to their own interests. This is true whether you write, tweet, call, etc. It's why you hang up on telemarketers who start by asking "How're doing today?" Wrong question.

So, yes, you need a press release, but a press release isn't a pitch. A pitch is a communication that grabs the reporter's attention and generates action -- contacting you! And incidentally, most press releases are awful: full of self-serving platitudes, banal headlines, and bereft of any meaningful information that shows why you're changing the world or at least changing something.

As far as exclusives go, that depends on what you're getting. A feature article in the New York Timesor WSJ? Sure. A product release announcement of 200 words in a trade journal? No way. But remember that 100 words in a major pub are often worth more than 2,000 words in a no-name, because everyone else will pick up on the major. If you're going to give, you have to get.

Last, do you have a social media strategy, a full communications strategy for the release? Do you know what comes next to sustain interest. Or are you aiming only at a 1-off? That's not going to work unless you've cured cancer.
Yaniv Levi
0
0
Yaniv Levi Entrepreneur
Digital Entrepreneur - Hiring
Hi Milly, I read this article prior to sending my press release and it turned out well. Out of 8 reporters 2 published.

http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2015/10/30/18-best-places-to-promote-your-startup-for-virtually-nothing/




David Gerzof Richard
1
0
BIGfish PR Founder, Marketing Professor, Communication Scientist, Angel Investor, Entrepreneur Magazine Contributor
There are a small number of reporters who (correctly) believe that if they have not agreed to an "embargo" or "exclusive" prior to receiving a press release or pitch, it is fair game for them to publish what you send them, at their leisure. This can be detrimental to any stories you may have already lined up - reporters and outlets hate being "scooped" by competitors. A better approach for pitching a product launch to reporters who you don't know is to give them enough information to want to learn more, but not enough to publish without contacting you for more details. Remember you only get one shot to launch your product, don't let unmanaged news ruin it.
Andreas Ramos
0
1
Andreas Ramos Entrepreneur • Advisor
VP Marketing at Zenyx Inc.
If the journalists don't know you, very unlikely they will reply. That's why the top PR agents charge high fees; they have connections.

But connections aren't sufficient. I agree with Steve Mason's answer above. The journalist looks at the press release and asks "Is this going to get someone to open their wallet and pay for it?" If not, it won't run.
Adam Metz
0
0
Adam Metz Entrepreneur
Vice President at TerrAvion
Hire a real startup PR pro like David Libby.
Andreas Ramos
0
0
Andreas Ramos Entrepreneur • Advisor
VP Marketing at Zenyx Inc.
BTW, professional PR people charge $6,000 to $10,000 per month with a six-month contract. They work with Bloomberg, WSJ, NYT, etc.

Have any of you seen different fees?
Anjali Awasthi
0
0
Anjali Awasthi Advisor
Co-Founder Medkonect Services, Marketing Consultant for Startups

Missy for the launch to be impactful I suggest following :a well drafted press release, share its link or copy with journalists who you think will find the launch interesting to cover for their readers,share the release with a few good bloggers, use your company's social media pages. I am assuming you have already amongst the various options selected press coverage as the most effective for the product launch, sometimes this may not be the best option

Adam Metz
0
0
Adam Metz Entrepreneur
Vice President at TerrAvion
You get what you pay for. Obviously vet past performance carefully with other founders.
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