Email to a Friend: How to Get Press

Normally I prefer to only post things I’ve spent a good bit of time on. Problem is that takes a lot of time and so it doesn’t happen often. So, today I’m just going to post verbatim an email I sent to a friend.

Context: he’s launching a Kickstarter project soon and he wanted 1) advice on getting press, and 2) an intro to reporters that I know. This is what I sent him:

 

Awesome website- makes the point really well and looks good.

As for PR- honestly me providing an intro wouldn’t help. But you’ve got a great elevator pitch: [elevator pitch redacted] Easily understandable and very powerful.

Main thing is to go to all the websites you want to be covered in and find the reporters there who cover similar stuff- either kickstarter things, or music, or gadgets- however they intersect. Its pretty easy to find their email- usually its on most of their sites or you can do some testing to find it (using stuff like Rapportive to guess their email or searching @newsoutlet.com to figure out the structure of emails at that place). Let me know if you need help here.

Next thing is to send a personalized and short email to each. Hey John, We’re about to launch X, saw you covered Y, would love to have you write us up. Big part of this- tell a story. Why did you make this? What makes it interesting? Why should they write about it? This is where coming from you is way better than coming from a PR firm- there needs to be an interesting story element to it and reporters would much rather hear from founders. And different aspects of your story may appeal to different types of outlets- so story can be tweaked for each outlet.

Also- you need a press kit. Basically some different pictures, a short press release, some quotes from the team, a picture file of your logo, some background on you- basically a little kit with everything they would need to write something up.

You can also ask them to wait until you launch the kickstarter to write about it. Just tell them you wanted to give them a heads up so they could have time to look into it and write it up, but you don’t want the word to get out before people can contribute.

Last thing- honestly it just takes a lot of time. You’ll email 100 people (and it will take a long time), and only 5 of them will write about it. Or 0. Or 100. You never know. But keep track of who you’ve sent it to, make sure you email them at least 4 or 5 days before it launches- that way you can email them again a day or so before if they haven’t responded.

So- that’s basically it. Happy to help, and will gladly intro you to press people I know, but honestly they don’t “know me” (YOU DONT KNOW ME MAN!) and they don’t care if I intro someone. You emailing them directly will have a lot more power. Also- the people I have talked to are almost certainly not the right people at the outlets they’re at.

Let me know how I can help!

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