5 Reasons Journalists aren’t Giving Your Startup the Time of Day

Gaining media traction as a startup can be difficult. You approach a reporter at a trade show, but he gives you a blank stare and mutters, “Who are you again?” You write email after email, but they seemed to have fallen into an abyss of no return. This anonymity can be especially frightening against the fact that 90%of startups don’t make it. How can people buy your product or service if they don’t know you exist?!

If journalists are ignoring you now, here are 5 reasons why this might be happening.

 

1. Your Pitch Needs Work

Not getting any responses? It’s time to tweak your pitch. It may not have enough information, or too much. Or it may not be punchy enough. Even trying a new subject line could help stoke media interest. An email with the subject “Interview Offer: ‘Ending Cyber Attacks’” is much more intriguing than “Unknown Company X Requests Meeting.”

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Topics: Media Relations, Pitching, Newsworthy

5 Tips to Create Media Buzz During the Holidays

Sometimes “bad timing” can be “good timing.”

Conventional wisdom dictates that companies should avoid media pitching and outreach during the holiday season. The belief is that everyone, including consumers, reporters, and editors, is too busy and distracted to hear our story pitches, look at press releases or read news articles. The truth is this is an ideal time. The news cycle is slower, creating content holes for reporters. For companies, the holidays are the perfect time to gift news outlets with story ideas.

Here are 5 tips for getting yourself some coveted coverage during the holiday season:


1. Wrap-up the Year with a Special “Wrapped” List

If your company had a great year, why not celebrate it with your customers? Share how they benefited over the past year with a summary of what they saved, enjoyed, or gained from your business. Spotify announced their aptly named “Spotify Wrapped” stats of the most streamed artists of 2018 and are giving subscribers playlists of their personal top songs. It didn’t take long before Spotify started trending on Twitter and featured in top outlets like TechCrunch, CNET, and Newsweek. Cap off the year with your own version of customer favorites. Turn it into a press release and perhaps even an infographic, and share it with local, trade and national business press. (Don’t forget to let your own customers know, too, by sending them an email and posting the roundup on your social media networks). 

 

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Topics: News, PR Strategies, Public Relations, Digital Marketing, Media, Pitching, Holidays, Media Buzz, Newsjacking, Give Back

6 Hard Truths About PR

We hear you. The marketplace is brutal. Customers are fickle. Competitors are breathing down your neck. And worse, some prospects have never even heard of you! You need positive press coverage and brand awareness yesterday — there’s simply no time to wait.

We wish we could come in and magically wave a wand to get you some visibility right now. But, unfortunately, public relations doesn’t work this way. PR, like so many other business processes, rewards the companies who approach it with preparation, commitment and time.

Getting rid of misconceptions and myths — and facing these 6 hard truths about PR — will help you gain traction and take advantage of all it has to offer.

 

Truth #1: PR Takes Time

Effective PR takes time. Like the sales process and growing a pipeline, PR is something we can’t do one day and walk away from the next. Companies in the know start by building a solid messaging and story foundation, creating quality content and relevant news angles, and cultivating the right audiences. This takes ongoing commitment and a regular sharing of your story in a variety of interesting ways to achieve PR success. The best results come to the companies who stick with it.

 

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Topics: PR Partner, Public Relations, PR Agencies, Online Presence, Growing Business, Media, Reputation, Pitching, Why PR

5 Tips for Getting into Holiday Gift Guides

It's summer! While some of us are dipping our toes into warm sand on a sunny beach, did you know that magazine editors are already thinking of gifts under a Christmas tree? While it feels like the holidays are coming sooner every year, companies know that an early start to marketing their products is crucial for holiday sales. The National Retail Federation reported that winter holiday sales topped almost $700 billion in 2017, and a good chunk of that money was spent on products recommended in holiday gift guides - targeted lists of top products curated by journalists.

For companies looking to sell toy robots, fun gadgets, and Barbie drones, inclusion in gift guides is likely some of the most valuable coverage you can get. Many major magazines, like Wired and Entrepreneur, are already mapping out their guides, with blogs and news websites following in their wake. You could wait until holiday carols are playing non-stop on the radio to pitch, (last-minute gift guides accept until the week before), but then you might miss out on some great opportunities.

To prepare for the 2018 winter holiday season, here are five tips for getting into holiday gift guides:

1. Sniff Out Who to Contact

Finding the exact editor in charge of holiday gift guides can be a bit tricky, as they change all the time. A few of the largest daily newspapers and many smaller blogs will have the same person reviewing products for gift guides, but for many editors, it’s a one-time job. Your PR partner and tools like Cision have updated databases and lists of potential contacts so when you're building out your media list be sure to reach out so you know that you're contacting the right person. Sending your pitch and product to an editor who no longer in charge means you could miss your shot as your pitch gets lost in the shuffle.

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Topics: Public Relations, Media Event, Reputation, Pitching, Holiday Gift Guides

The 8 Must-Haves of a Great Media Pitch

Great media coverage starts with a great email pitch. It introduces and excites the journalist to various facets of your company -- be it your products, your founders, your unique proposition for a changing industry, your customer successes and/or your insights or predictions about the future. A pitch needs to be short and sweet, informative but not overwhelming, but what does it actually look like? For our post today, we've whipped up an imaginary pitch to aid our discussion, and broken it down into the 8 must-haves of a great media pitch:

1. Make Them Feel Special

When it comes to pitching, personalization comes in two parts. First, while it may save time to list all your contacts in bcc and send one email, journalists find mass email blasts to be impersonal and often delete such emails without even looking at them. Avoid the bcc line and you'll avoid the spam folder. Second, make sure you use the name of the contact you are trying to reach. A vague "To whom it may concern" or (heaven forbid) the wrong name tells a contact that you haven't put in the time or effort to get to know who you're emailing. Let them know that you care by taking the time to personalize your email.

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Topics: Media Relations, Media, Email, Reputation, Trust, Pitching

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