Getting people to know about your projects and your story through press is essential for your success. Over the last 12-16 months I’ve appeared on Inc, Linkedin Pulse, various podcasts, TV interviews and printed media such as Forbes Magazine.
These opportunities have led me to more connections, more fans and more importantly, more revenue for my business.
Nowadays, I can launch an app like Poos Caboose and get it featured in 154 countries on the App Store the same day, all because I’ve built a strong network that supports my current and future projects.
Throughout my experience launching Flux brands, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to do PR and how to pitch your company or product to get it featured.
I would like to share those tips with you in today’s post.
Before we start, understand that press should be approached in incremental steps.
Unless you go viral, it’s almost impossible to go from no press to getting featured on Forbes the next day. You need to start with smaller publications like Future Sharks and use those as a stepping stone for your next publication.
I understand that most of you might not be thrilled to devote the time that it takes to build rapport with the writers, pitch your story and follow up to get your story heard. If that’s the case for you, I can get you on my site, Future Sharks. Message me on FB if you want this.J
If you would like to do PR yourself, here are the steps to get featured.
1. Make sure you’re ready for the press
When you pitch people your story, make sure that it is something worthwhile to cover.
“Why is this story relevant or exciting?” – “Why would the readers care?”
If you can’t answer that in a very straightforward way you will need to refine your pitch.
Another important aspect is to have a press release (or blurb) ready that you can send out to people so that they can learn about you in one or two paragraphs.
I also suggest having a “Press” tab on your site so that in the case a writer is checking out your site, they can very easily find logos, graphics and other articles about you.
This tab also helps you establish your credibility when your readers and clients check it out.
If you’re still crafting the perfect story, keep the following in mind
- What makes you or your company unique? (read how to sell anything)
- Are you taking advantage of any trends going on in the industry? (i.e. cryptocurrencies)
- What insight do you have that other people don’t?
Once you have a solid pitch you should move on to the next step.
2. Ask the contributors directly
You will be surprised but for many of the features that I got, I simply DM’ed the writers on Facebook or Twitter. Here is a more detailed description on how to effectively message contributors.
Here is the secret tip to find writers.
- Go on Facebook and do a graph search for keywords like “Techcrunch contributor” or “contributor at Huffington Post”. Sometimes you will stumble upon a Facebook group comprised of multiple contributors for a large publication. Pro tip: Don’t just shoot for Techcrunch or Forbes, if your niche is ecommerce you can also look into being featured on the Shopify Blog for example.
- Read the articles of the contributors to establish if your story is a fit (very important step to not come off as spammy).
- If your story is a fit, then use a condensed version of your pitch of 2-3 sentences with your ask. (Remember that they are busy and that the message will go to their Message Request inbox).
Sometimes Most of the time a writer might be too busy to reply to your message. Don’t be rude and follow up with just a “?” if they don’t reply to you within 10 min. I’d suggest to give them at least 24 hours if not a week until you follow up again.
3. Use HARO to get some easy PR
HARO (short for Help A Reporter Out) is a tool used by many writers when they are looking for quotes from industry experts and thought leaders.
Once you sign up for HARO you will receive up to 3 emails aday asking for your insight on the topics of Biotech, Healthcare, Business, Education, High Tech, Fitness, Travel and more. These writers will belong to sites like Bustle, Askmen, New York Times, NBC and Forbes. If you can wow them with your answer, you’ve won yourself a solid feature on these reputable sites, not to mention also a backlink to your site which will help with SEO.
The secret to getting featured on a HARO query is to
- Be concise, add value and answer just what the query is asking you. (Do not send a generic or un-insightful answer)
- Be quick (If you wait too long someone else will beat you to it or the deadline might pass)
Replying to a HARO query should not take you more than 15 min. If you’re taking too long to reply to one, then you should move on. I also suggest to save all your answers in a Google Doc because similar queries pop up all the time and you can have your answer ready to send.
You can also hire a VA to answer queries for you on a daily basis. Make sure that the VA you hire has perfect english grammar and also understands your voice and thoughts. The last thing you want is to have your name tied to a belief you don’t hold.
HARO is a very powerful tool that you should definitely make use of!
4. Hire a Professional PR agency
This one is not free, but it can be worthwhile if you’re an executive and your time is valuable. Hiring a PR expert like me will save you all the hassle and frustration of this process.
If you don’t have the budget for it, you can always get on my publication Future Sharks for free. Then, you can use that publication for leverage for larger ones 😉
5. Be patient and play a numbers game
Like I mentioned before, unless you partner up with a PR specialist, you will need to wait a few days or weeks until you hear back from a writer.
What I did to speed up this process was to collect emails of 12,000 reporters with a scraping software that we built.
I use this list every time I want to blow up a project. By the virtue of being a large list there’s bound to be someone that wants to cover my story.
Some ideas to keep in mind
- Use Streak to track open rates
- Persist until you get that “yes”.
To get a high open and conversion rate do the following step.
6. Submit anonymous tips from a female email
I tested multiple emails from both male and female employees at Flux and my personal tests showed that a female email does best in terms of open rates and replies. Try it out and let me know if you find this to be the case as well.
What you can do on those emails is something like:
I recently found saw XYZ being covered on The Crypto Times, where they revealed a novel approach to ABC. Thought you would be interested in checking it out since your background is in ABC. Hope this is helpful to you. ”
Closing thoughts on PR
“Build and they will come” doesn’t apply in today’s world because there a multitude of competing apps, products and services that do almost the exact same as you. I consider PR Marketing one of the best guerilla marketing strategies that one can use to catapult a business.
A solid press strategy should be built out incrementally and should always be focused on keeping the voice and vision of your company consistent.
The benefits of PR can be amazing and in some cases, press can transform your business. For us a simple feature on Yahoo Tech gives us over $30k in recurring revenue for Flux Charger sales per month.
Let me know in the comments which publication you are looking to get yourself featured on.
I’ll pick someone at random every 3 months and get that person featured for free (as long as the story is good).
Also if you found this post to be helpful, share it with a friend that might also find value in it.