Press releases. As much as some people would hate to admit it, they’re an integral part of getting your business known. For businesses of any size (but more so startups), they can be the perfect way to boost your website traffic and raise more awareness of your company/brand.
However, with the amount of companies trying to contact journalists and get their content posted, it can be hard to be successful with your campaign. Here are some tips that we’ve come up with based on our experience creating and securing press releases.
Before you try to find and then contact journalists, think about creating a press pack. A good press pack contains some screenshots of your product(s), photos of you and any other staff members you may have, logos and some general company info. These press packs can lead to journalists being more inclined to include your press release, as in most cases, it makes their jobs easier. You can include the press pack in Dropbox, Google Drive or any other cloud storage you use, then share a link with the journalists that are interested.
This can save a lot of time for both yourself and the journalists and may help your press campaign be more successful.
Finding the Correct Journalists
You’ve got your product, you’ve got your press pack, now you need to find the journalists. Sure, you could just do a Google search for a list of journalists and then email everyone, but they aren’t all going to be interested or relevant to your business. Here’s a few tips to try and find the best journalists to contact:
- Create a list of your main competitors
- Research and find their press releases
- Look at the articles and find out the name of the journalist who wrote/published it
- Using a piece of software such as Buzzstream, you can try to automatically scrape the contact information for that journalist and add it into a list.
- Search for relevant terms in your niche and find previous press releases to find more potential journalists to contact. The best way to find these terms is by using software such as Buzzsumo, which allows you to analyze the best performing content for any topic or competitor.
Make sure to also search for smaller blogs that are relevant to your niche. These can also come in very useful to you, as explained in the step below.
Start from the Bottom and Work Your Way Up
Now you’ve got your list of journalists and bloggers to contact. I’m sure you’re itching to email the biggest ones on it, but be patient, start with the smaller ones with lower traffic volumes and domain authorities. This might sound like a slight waste of time, but it’ll be beneficial in the long run. Think of it as a pyramid, the lowest domain authorities on the bottom and the highest at the top. It’s a lot easier to start at the bottom and work your way up.
If the journalists from the top see that you’ve already had press coverage from a multitude of different sources, then they tend to be a bit more likely to consider doing one themselves.
Now it’s time to reach out and contact the journalists, so you need a good template to use. Here are some tips on what to include in your template;
The subject line is a lot more important than most people think. You can have the best product, the best worded email, but what does that matter if people don’t even bother opening the email up?
The first thing a journalist will see from your email, is the subject line. You’ve got to think of something that’s going to make them open it, make them look what’s inside. Think outside the box, don’t just use the generic “[company name] press release” as they’ll get that hundreds of times a day.
What’s the main reason for your company?
How Are You Making a Difference?
Include the answers to those questions in the subject line, tell them what problem you’re solving, but make sure you keep it quite short. Another alternative is to title your subject line with the headline of your article. If your article headline pops enough, so will the email subject.
Think about including emojis in the subject line too. We recently ran our own case study on how including emojis in the subject line affects the open rate, and we got a response from every single journalist we pitched using emojis. Try and find a few relevant/suitable emojis to use in your subject line and see for yourself!
Now it’s on to the important part–your pitch. This is where you’re going to sell yourself and convince them they should feature your press release. A great technique for this, is to use the MADLIBS format. It goes as follows;
My Company [Name of your company],
is developing [A website/App/Software/etc]
to help [Your target audience]
[Solve a problem they encounter] with,
[Your unique approach].
To put this into a working example,
“My company, Tutora, is developing a tuition marketplace to help connect families with the very best private tutors for their children with an easy to use, stress free and completely online solution.”
Using this technique helps give you a framework for the pitch. It ensures you answer all the important questions they might have about your business and helps you capture their attention quickly and efficiently.
These aren’t all sure fire ways to secure successful press campaigns. However, after a lot of trial and error, these tips definitely helped us secure a better success rate. It’s always going to be a case of testing different approaches to see which is most successful, but once you’ve found the best approach for you, it’ll make your life a whole lot easier!