How To Get Your Press Kit Into Top News Sites
This is a follow up article from how to create a stunning press kit for your startup. So now that you have created your press kit and have your website all ready up. It is time to gain attention for your startup. The best way to build that hype and traction is to get news sites and blogs to feature your product. It isn’t as simple as 1-2-3 though. Most tech news site ignore 85% of the submissions. Most won’t even glance at the email, so what can you do to submit your press kit into top news sites?
Obviously, it’s much easier to submit your articles to top news site if you know someone that works there. Not everyone does though, and you should build your network. Planning a press kit release should not be a last minute thing, it should be something that you have been preparing for. For example, while you were putting together your press kit, you could have been on Twitter looking up related companies, problems, writers and reach out to them. It doesn’t have to be about your own personal startup product, it could be something as simple as “Hey great article!, I especially love the part where you gave us tips on how to write basic code.” Simply, dropping hello and thank you is a great way to start networking.
You could always attend events. A lot of events have tech reporters working for top news site. These reporters or editors might not be the people that are going to be speaking on stage, but they know the tech industry in and out so building a connection with them is key. You could always send them an Linkedin request after the event with something like, “Had a great conversation with you today at XYZ event. Learned a lot, maybe we could mash something up in the future?” Building connection one by one is the road to success for a great launch.
Seek The Individual Writers
I personally like using FollowerWonk to find writers or anyone related to the industry I’m seeking for. You could ignore all it’s additional features, but you should use their search feature. Use the search feature to locate tech writers. Usually you will get a big list of results ranging from, “Techcrunch editor, Mashable writer” etc. Use that to contact the writers directly. Followerwonk will show you their Twitter page. Go onto their Twitter page and see if you can locate their email address. If you can, send them an email introducing yourself and what you do. Make sure to kindly remind them on Twitter that you sent them an email. Tech editors told me that they get a lot of emails everyday and sometimes they miss an email or two, but a friendly reminder on twitter/linkedin will do.
Try to understand what your targeted writer writes about. For instance, just because he is a tech writer does not mean he will understand complicated cloud apps. He might be a cool mobile gaming app writer that writes specifically about games. The best way to find out is by simply typing his name in Google and reading his previous articles. If he seems like the person that will write about your new startup product, then do your best to reach out to him anyway you can. Don’t spam but be persistent. If possible, try to connect with them anywhere you can. Google+ is a great place to start after Twitter. Rapportive is another great tool when researching into your writers.
Related Read: 5 Must Have Tools To Make Your Startup Life Easier
The Ultimate Pitch
By now, you should have a list of writers and targeted news sites. Ensure that you have at least a couple because not everyone will respond to you. Also, don’t get carried away with all the big tech blogs, aim for the smaller ones too because everything little exposure counts for your product and the smaller ones might have more niche loyal viewers. If your intention is to make sales, then targeting a niche community is a must!
Now that you have fully researched into your targeted writer, writing a quick cold email pitch to them should not be too bad. You’re not walking into a fog anymore. You have information regarding them and you should know what kind of interest they have. With this information you can now approach them with your press kit.
A perfect pitch email should not be too long. Writers love to read and write, but they don’t want long articles. Editors want articles that are straight to the point. A perfect pitch email should have:
- The problem your product solves
- A little bit about you and your founders
- An achievement
- Release Dates/Milestones
- Funding Rounds/Investors
- Future Goals
- Press Kit
It’s always nice to give the editor an introduction of yourself first. You could be as creative as you want with the introduction, usually creativity will draw their attention more than anything else. After the quick introduction, you should proceed into what your company is about. You should be able to tell the editor what problem it solves and what values your product can bring to the community in less than a paragraph. Remember, keep it direct and simple.
On another line, talk about an achievement that your startup went through, perhaps reaching a milestone. Make sure you include the release date of the product as well. Next, include a list of founders and investors so that the tech writer knows who’s on your board. You don’t have to include their background or bio, that should be in the press kit or on your website. Tell the writer about your startup’s current situation, and funding amount. If you are just starting, maybe you just received seed round funding. Include that.
Lastly, speak about your future goals of the product and how your startup is going to expand. Finally, thank the writer for their time and include a press kit with all the pictures and information about your company. Have a good signature at the end with your contact information and social media account links. Most of the editors I know ignore most emails that don’t have a well put press kit because they don’t have enough information to write about and they do not want to go searching for information regarding your product.
Editors love people who create interesting emails or at least keep the content interesting throughout the email. They do not like people who talk like robots, so don’t talk like a news robot reporter.
Don’t just send them an email introducing your product, include all of the above that I mentioned. A bad way to approach an editor would be doing this:
“Hi, My name is John and I’m founder of newsapp, a new app that is going to be the next biggest thing. My app is the most unique in the market and will have a bright future. I hope that you can check out my app at http://example.com and write about it on your news site. You’re going to be the first to cover this article and all your viewers will love it. Thanks, John”
That is one of the worst ways you can construct your email because it doesn’t tell the writer anything other than the fact that you have a product and you think it is going to be the next thing. You’re also telling the writer to research into the product themselves without clipping on a press kit or additional information to make them feel that this news is worthy to write about. While this might help, most startups do not recommend that you use sites like PRwire because those do not draw enough good attention.
Hope this helps you construct a better email.
Read Next: How To Get Your MVP Funded By A VC