Public Relations and How to Score Tons of It
In the past 12 months we have been featured on ABC7, Telemundo, NPR, CNN Radio Espanol, BusinessWeek.com, Crain’s NY, NewYorkBusiness.com, WSJ Career Journal, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Newsday, El Diario/La Prensa, Hoy, Workforce Management, StaffingIndustry.com, Hotel & Motels and various other smaller publications and blogs.
That is a tremendous amount of press for a very small company. How did we do it?
Every company has a story. Either it’s the great story about new imitative just launched, or the great things being done in production, or maybe just the special way customer service is being handled.
The problem is most of the stories being spun by companies are old and boring. That is why you need an angle. Fortunately for you, you work in a start-up and nothing is more interesting than a new product or service when there is a David vs. Goliath story involved.
The next step is letting the media know about it. First craft a one line pitch sentence which will grab the media’s attention. Don’t use crazy lines, but do find a way to communicate what you are doing in 15 words or less. This will come in handy for your pitch letter, and when you follow-up on the phone.
The next step is tedious, but you can not take any shortcuts. You need someone (preferably a professional PR agency) to manually pitch the story, one at a time, to your target editors. You need to send a pitch letter or email, a company fact sheet, and any other relevant information, and then follow that up with a voicemail and a telephone call. There are a lot of people who take a list of editors and just blast them with news releases and pitch letters. That never works, never. Editors want to their product to be great. The only way they can do that is by having original content. They don’t want to publish a story that they know 500 other sources will have.
This brings us to exclusivity, if there is one media source which you know would be perfect for what you are doing, offer them exclusivity. There is nothing an editor likes more than to hear they will have an exclusive.
So to recap: find a story that is interesting, craft a message for the media sources, let them know about it, and if necessary, use the exclusivity card. Then hold on to your hats while you bathe in all the free publicity you will reap.
Entry filed under: Start-up.