Entrepreneur recently featured an article on its website titled, “5 Tips on How to Pitch Your Startup to Get the Press You Need,” which discusses how startups must consider the four P’s of marketing: product, placement, price and promotion.
Jerrid Grimm, contributing writer, explains in the article that once the first three P’s have been addressed, it is time to focus on the fourth — promotion — to get the word out about your new business.
“[The] best form of early promotion for many startups is PR coverage,” writes Grimm in the article. “Getting seasoned journalists at credible publications to talk about your business can validate your company and help attract those first, elusive customers.”
In the article, Grimm as well as the former editor at Mashable, Josh Catone, offer the following tips for how to pitch your new startup to the press:
- Make it interesting. Grimm and Catone surveyed more than a dozen writers, reporters and editors at a few prominent tech publications. Those surveyed receive hundreds of pitches each week but only cover approximately one to two percent of them. Make sure your pitch is interesting. Start with what makes your new business or product/service different from the rest. Ask yourself, “If this wasn’t my own company or client, would I want to read this story?” If you hesitate when answering this question, you may need to make your business’ story a little more intriguing.
- Emphasize people over numbers. Grimm shares in the article the number one thing Owen Thomas, editor-in-chief at ReadWrite, looks for in a quality pitch is “a personal story. Something real that actually happened to a human being.” Personal stories are typically more interesting than facts and figures because they help readers relate. “Telling a personal narrative forms an emotional connection with the reporter, and with his or her readers,” says Grimm in the article.
- Get to the point. Make your email subject line count because it may be the only thing a busy reporter/editor sees. Summing up your pitch is not easy to do in a few words. However, you must explain your story and why it matters as quickly and as concisely as possible.
- Respond quickly. Make sure you are available and reply back quickly. “It is highly unlikely that a reporter will pick up your pitch and write a story based entirely on your initial email or press release,” states Grimm in the article. “So, make sure you are available to speak with reporters [or editors], offering additional information about your product, service, company or whatever it is you pitched.”
- Build relationships. Remember, the reporters, writers and editors are people, too. Spending the time to build a relationship can go a long way toward increasing the likelihood that your pitch is covered. “Personalizing your pitches is a must,” notes Grimm in the article. “Get to know the publication, the [writer/editor] and his or her beat, but eschew the superficial comments.”
Read the entire article on pitching to the press here.