Public relations (PR) is not a high priority for most startups. The truth is, however, press coverage is fundamental for early-stage business ventures. Afterall, how else are people going to find out about your fantastic product or services if they never get to know about it? For struggling startups, paying for expensive ads on the internet might not be an option, but they can always try pitching free news coverage to the press.
Who and Where to Pitch?
There are two easy ways to pitch for press coverage; through emails and LinkedIn. Before that, you have to figure out who you are going to send your pitch to. First thing first, you should do a website mapping under these four categories; 1) Blogger, 2) News Site, 3) Website Forum, and 4) Organization. At this stage, all you have to do is surf on the internet and try to find as many websites as possible to reach out.
After compiling the list of potential websites, the next thing you should do is find their contact information, preferably their email and LinkedIn. In deciding between the two platforms, always prioritize LinkedIn pitch over email in case your email does not go to the whitelist. However, if the editor or PR person is not active on LinkedIn, then go for an email pitch.
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What to Write?
Among many press pitches that a journalist receives daily, yours must stand out. You do not want your pitch to be drowned out in all the noises, but how exactly do you set your pitch apart from the rest?
- Always personalize your email
Fun fact, everyday writers receive 10-20 email pitches and we only have 30 seconds to catch their attention, so make sure your subject is written concisely! The most common formula for email subject is:[Format of Content + Media Name + Content]
- Data for StartUp Jobs Asia – New Trend in Tech Industry
- Promotion Sales for Female Daily Network – Shopee’s Special 10.10 Discount Sales
- Press Release for Fashion’s Today – Sustainable Clothing by GreenClothes
- Empower the first paragraph
Once you are done with the subject then let’s move on to the body email. First and foremost, always address the editor by their name at the beginning. Your first paragraph should be the highlight of why you are writing this email to them. More kudos if you could familiarize yourself with the works of the editor before pitching, so you can cite one of their articles and explain how it relates to the materials you are pitching.
- Tease, don’t tell
After writing your first paragraph, what’s left is to lay out your pitch’s key points, including the brief overview of your startup. The more controversial and data-driven, the better. However, remember not to “spill” the whole tea in the first email. Make them curious and thus reply to you to get more information. This is why you should also include CTA in your last paragraph, like “Think this will be a good fit for your audience, please find the overview report attached” or you can just be clear about your schedule like “I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you within 3 working days.”
Although more interactive, LinkedIn pitch could be more challenging to write because you have character limitations (300 max.). In this case, make sure to be straightforward in your pitch, do not waste any character if possible. Lastly, stay connected with them on LinkedIn and leverage your network. In the end, press coverage pitching does not only benefit your brand awareness, but also expands your KOL network. If the first pitch turns cold, never hesitate to send another next time!
Read Also: When Are Partnerships Bad For Your Startup?