It’s a well known fact that getting covered by top-tier publications is essential if you’re planning on raising over $200k. But how do we get there? Well, sit back and grab a drink — because we are about to tell you some of our secrets.
1. Build Relationships Pre-Launch
If you’re reaching out to journalists for the first time and you’re already live, then the odds are against you. Start pitching journalists 3 months before you launch, keep them in the loop on all you’ve got going on. Not only does this give you a feel for how much press you will get on day 1, it also gives you time to adjust your content and pitches to find a strategy that does wok.
The advantage of using a PR firm is that firms already have relationships in place, and they are usually very long standing.
2. Offer Review Units
If you’re going for a giant campaign, then do not launch unless you have about 40 samples to send to journalists. Sure, it is possible to do without samples (and it’s not always possible) but you need to understand how easy it makes it when you can offer the journalist a free unit in exchange for an article. It makes is so easy that it’s worth waiting to launch for a year if that’s how long it takes you to produce a small batch of your product.
3. Pitch Forever
The only time you should stop pitching a journalist about your product is if they email you and tell you to stop. If you are not getting replies from journalists then just keep pitching them in different ways until you get a response. Don’t be shy, and don’t be too proud to keep sending new emails despite receiving no response.
4. Pitch In Volume
To get featured by a top tier publication, you need to be pitching ALL OF THEIR JOURNALISTS. Within reason though, if there is a journalist who does not cover anything remotely similar to your product then don’t waste your time — but as long as the journalist covers something even remotely close to you product then you need to be pitching them, forever.
5. Don’t Use Mass-Email
The only time to use mass-email is if you’ve got less than 5 days remaining. It’s temping to want to send mass pitches, but you need to realize that not only do journalists shy away from covering mass pitches — odds are that your emails will land in a spam filter anyways (you would not believe how sensitive these things are now a days).
Mail merges too often end up in the spam folder. A bit of googling will tell you why this is.
For best results, you need to pitch each journalist in a separate email message that has unique content (addresses them by name, mentions their publications) basically, anything that shows them it is a unique message sent just to them.
To really do this, you need a small group of people sending out messages to journalists. And this is one of the benefits you get with hiring an outside agency to do your PR.