Reaching out to press can be more complicated than you think. For example just sending an email about how revolutionary your company is likely to fall on deaf ears. This is mostly because reporters receive hundreds of emails of day with the same elevator pitch. In the unlikely event that they do read your pitch, they are likely to discard it immediately if all it includes is information about your company that says “it’s the next best thing”. This is even more likely if you don’t offer credible sources to back up your claims.
So to help you get the response you are looking for, I have listed a few different strategies for reaching out to media, along with reasons why it is important to nurture your media relationships so that you can also continuously reach your coverage goals.
Make sure you are targeting the right reporter. You do not want to be reaching out to a reporter that covers consumer products if you are pitching SaSS for enterprise companies. Taking the time to research the reporter or reporters who are constantly covering the latest innovations in your industry is a good place to start. They will not only be interested in hearing from you about what impact your product will have, but also if your product offers new tools or features that have not been available before. They will also be interested in hearing about whether you have customers on board to provide testimonials and first hand accounts on why your product is dependable, if it’s a better solution than others out there and why people should be using your product over other options.
Offer sources of validation for your company and your product. With the amount of start ups and products available to today promising to have the next best thing, reporters need something else to show that your company is just not spinning jargon. Having a customer, like I mentioned above, to share their first hand experience with the product or service will speak volumes to the press. Another source of validation is funding. The money will speak volumes, but if the investor is well known and willing to speak about their funding choice along with why they think it’s important for the industry, you have a well rounded story that many press may not want to pass up.
Remember that reporters are people too. They are not obligated to cover your company. If they do express interest in your company, it’s likely because they are interested in how your solution will impact the industry. Or maybe they think your product or service is just too cool to pass up! No matter the case, do not harass them for coverage or get upset when they decide to pass up on the opportunity for that announcement. It’s possible they just are not able to find the time or have other things that they are already working on. Instead continue to nurture the relationship and build it up by sharing company updates or commenting on their latest work in a neutral way. There is a reason why it is called media relations.
Remember that reporters are always looking for the latest trend. If your product or service fits into that industry trend make sure you are tying that into your pitch. If they don’t want to cover your product, they may want to speak with your company’s CEO about what their thoughts are on the trend. This is a great way to help grow your CEO and company’s credibility in your industry. It’s also a great way to show that you a reliable source that that reporter can count on for their articles.
Reaching out to reporters can be a long and laborious process, but making sure you are providing them with useful information and fostering those relationships can help you reach your coverage goals.