What I learned this week:
PR, or Public Relations, is just the process of getting people to write article about you. The type of press you can get does vary beyond that though.
It could be podcast interviews, it could be getting featured in a magazine or the newspaper, it could be getting on television for a local news channel.
But the process is relatively the same to get new press. You have a good story, and you pitch it to news sources. Before you pitch it to larger news sources like TechCrunch or WIRED you need to make a proof of concept. Most of the successful press pitches I've seen have used an existing piece of content almost as if to prove the story is interesting.
So you get that flagship smaller article, or a decent podcast interview, and then you email it to reporters at bigger publications to see if they'll pick it up.
But before you do that, you've got to get that flagship content. In my case, I do a lot of stuff on social media, and I connect with a lot of podcast hosts since I have my own show. Then, I emailed a local news outlet in the business space with the podcast link and a simple description. It helps that I've spoken with the reporter I pitched, as well. I had recommended her a few different people already for other articles she was writing, and so she knew me before I sent that request.
So, recommend other awesome companies or entrepreneurs you know, and then a little while later, pitch yourself with a podcast episode or personal article. Hopefully you'll get that first bit of press, and you can use it to scale.
Now let's say you have your first piece of content, article or otherwise, and you want to pitch it to larger publications - you'll need to target specific writers. Scroll through the articles each news outlet has published in the past, find a series they do, or a common thread, and for each article that seems to relate to your story, keep track of the author. If you find a common author among a few articles similar to the story you want to pitch, they're your point person.
Now, you'll likely want to pitch them over email, and if it's not immediately listed on the website, you can use Hunter.io to find it 95% of the time. I filmed a little guide a long time ago on how I personally do it.
Great, now you have content about your story and a list of people that might be interested. That's all you need, just send a few incredibly short emails and hope. A lot of the successful press pitches I've seen look something like this:
There's a new startup helping dog owners get connected to local dog walkers and it seems to be solving a really big problem. I noticed you report on this kind of tech so I figured I would reach out.
Here's a link to an article recently written on it: [link]
I run the startup, and I would be happy to talk about what we're trying to solve if an interview is something you would be interested in!"
That's it - as simple as possible. Reporters are getting pitched all day. Make sure the topic is right in their wheelhouse, and make sure you keep the email short as hell so they can read it super quick. I'm not entirely sure what timing would be appropriate, but if I want someone to respond to an email I send it Tuesday morning, so it's at the top of their inbox when they get to work and they already cleared the weekend backlog on Monday.