As an entrepreneur, one of the biggest obstacles your startup stands to face will come in the form of brand reputation. Getting your startup some coverage and mentions in publications can massively benefit your brand and help you to bolster your image. Good press can be all the attention your brand needs to gain traction amongst audiences. Yet, getting your startup some media coverage is almost always easier said than done.
To help new entrepreneurs boost and promote their brand name with, here are some tips to help you amplify your news coverage:
Target the Right Journalists and Writers
No matter how enticing your pitch may be, it will fall flat if it isn’t targeted to the right person. Spend some time identifying which writers and journalists will be the best fit for your startup’s story and which ones will most likely take it up as a project. Of course, journalists are always on the hunt for a good story, but they’re searching for content that is relevant to their work. It would be pointless to pitch an idea about your education nonprofit to a journalist who writes about entertainment or fashion. So, before you click that “send” button on your email be sure that your story aligns with a writer’s area of focus.
Start by collecting a list of journalists who are most likely to be interested in your startups’ story. To build a proper list of potentially interested journalists start by typing up a few general keywords related to your project into a search engine. Toggle your search engine so that it only includes “News” and shows articles for related results. You’ll want to research the top journalists and their bio. Once you’ve determined which journalists make the most sense for your story, send them your pitch.
Do Your Homework and Show the Writers You’ve Read Their Work
Almost everyone responds well to flattery and writers are no different. As you write your pitch, make sure that you start off by touching on a journalist’s previous work. Reference a previous article or two that they’ve written and pinpoint the parts that piqued your interest the most. Use this opportunity to mention why this work makes you believe they are the right writer for the job. This will demonstrate to them that you haven’t just wrangled up a general lot of writers and messaged them randomly.
Pitch a Good Angle, Not Your Product
Remember, you’re seeking press coverage because you want to reach out to a broader audience. Unless your company is literally changing the world (think: providing people with a chance to live underwater like mermaids or sending people to Mars) simply telling its story won’t be enough. As such, pitching a compelling angle about your brand is crucial. Especially because journalists mostly cover stories that relate to larger issues.
Consider pitching a story about your company that ties its product or service into a current event or popular trend. This way it becomes an interesting piece for a writer to cover and more relevant to a broader audience. For example, if your business sells a product that addresses problems consumers might typically have with home energy, go for something that is relevant to the space. Instead of pitching a story about how your product works, go for a sell on the emerging popularity of smart homes or how you used a crowdfunding site to raise money for your product production.
Make It More Appealing by Making It Exclusive
Any journalist knows that unique content is hard to come by. With so many online news sites, blogs and social media channels covering news and trending topics, every subject and trending issue gets covered at least 20 times. Sell journalists on giving you press coverage by giving them an exclusive story. This will create a more enticing pitch and motivate them more to write your story. Don’t forget, journalists aren’t just pitching stories they’re receiving them as well. As such, you’ll want to make sure that you provide them with a story that is not only intriguing but unique and specific to them alone.
Don’t Hire a PR Firm
Journalists are more likely to give your pitch a chance if you’ve developed some sort of report with them beforehand. Hiring a PR firm to send pitches their way might get the job done, but it won’t necessarily give you the results that you want. With something as personal as a story about your business, you’ll want to make sure that you curate a relationship that can help you to amplify your message.