I'm launching a product on Kickstarter. I have made a list of potential journalists/influencers from relevant sites to be contacted. When should I reach out to these journalists with my press release? Day of launch or well before?
It's all about building a relationship with these journalists and bloggers. You want them in your pocket long term. Ultimately, they are usually interested in the same things as you, which gives you a chance to connect on a deeper level and make an online friend.
If you make a friend, then maybe they can even introduce you to their other journalist friends when the time is right.
Ps: when you finally do send them your stuff, keep it short and make sure your visuals get the point off without them needing to read a description. Visual storytelling is huge. Remember: people don't like to read
Well, well before. The earlier you can, the better. Journalists are tough to get in touch with and cold outreach is often lost in a sea of similar requests.
The ideal situation is to identify mutual contacts (facebook or linkedin) cosy up with an introduction and be active for weeks to month in their life. Comment on their personal blog, retweet their posts, etc. By the time you launch your campaign, you're a friend they want to help out, not email #135 of that day.
Hope this helps!
Always well before. Lead times for journalists are very far out. Most online editors have an 8-10 week lead time. Magazines work 4-6 months out. Even the daily newspapers and blogs appreciate having information as early as possible. Make sure you have a good list that is lean and targeted. Start building your media list as early as possible or work with someone to help you build the list. Send the release out at LEAST three weeks before launch if you can, then use the remaining time to follow up with thoughtful individual notes that are targeted to that journalists outlet/media platform. Make each pitch as personalized as possible and know what they usually cover and how they cover it. Be specific about what makes your product/service/company different, unique and newsworthy. Now is also the time to leverage any friendships or relationships you have in the media. If you have a friend or a student studying in PR rope them into helping you as much as possible. Be strategic about what types of media you are reaching out to keeping in mind the market and audience for your product. It can sometimes take months to place a story in a well known media outlet. Other times if your product is extremely innovative or hot it can move fast. Make sure you have great high res images and full details ready to go if a journalist bites. Have a fact sheet or small media kit ready to go. If you have a celebrity or pseudo celebrity you can leverage for a testimonial or endorsement -use that to your advantage. Start as early as humanly possible planting seeds with press and potentially offering exclusive information if it makes sense. Gaining traction in the media for a crowdfunding campaign is full time work. We have helped several companies do this both with indiegogo and Kickstarter. Good luck! Happy to chat more if you have any questions.
I ran a successful 28 day campaign with a goal of $40k, although I suggest you get all your work done (press release content, etc) in advance and have you press contacts, bloggers, socialites etc inline prior to your launch. I would however wait for your first wave of donations to come in what we call your love money from friends and family before reaching out to any media. You don't want to be knocking on peoples door with $40 in donations to show on your profile. Remember that people attract people. My opinion is you should have reached at least 20% of your goal before reaching out to the media. If you are raising capital for a physical product and you have prototypes available, I would in that case send those prototypes to socialites to review a week prior to your launch. This will give them time to review your product and write up something about it if they like it.
Try to reach out well before, the key is being able to relate to what they do. Do not send the same email to all of them. They should feel like you are giving an exclusive just to them.
Write the reasons why your campaign is relevant to their blog/website/magazine, and how it relates to a trending topic in that environment.
Once you get their attention make them commit to publish the article the morning of the day you are going to launch your campaign. A couple of days before the campaign double check with them, and make sure they remember!
Good luck with your campaign, if you have any further questions feel free to reach out!
As others would agree, reaching out well before would be ideal. It takes time to build relationships, but if you're reaching out to a bunch of journalists, here are some tips:
- Make a Twitter list with all of the contacts on your media list where you can skim the feed once or twice per day. Engage with these journalists- retweet their content, leave a reply, answer any questions they ask, etc. The more often you engage with them, the more likely your name is to stick out when you reach out and pitch them! Here is a GREAT article about building relationships with journalists with a 6-week plan: http://spinsucks.com/communication/media-relations-done-well/
- Be sure to craft a compelling pitch to accompany your press release- it should be a teaser of the release so the journalist can decide whether or not they want to read more.
- It's also a great idea to craft another pitch and press release for the day you launch. At that point, anyone who has written about your project will have the chance to update their readers.
I hope this helps, and best of luck with your campaign!
The most important thing about doing a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is to do two or months of prep work to build up your social media following and perfect your social media credentials/profile descriptions.
For example, friend/connect/follow every reporter from your media list on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You'll discover that this takes a lot of time, but it is certainly worth it. The goal is build relationships first, before you need something.
Instead of trying to reach every reporter try to define the top 20 - 50 reporters that cover your subject matter often. On a daily basis check to see what stories they are writing and share their headlines and URLs via your social media networks and include their Twitter handle so that they see you post their content.
Share a reporter's article once, they will notice. Start sharing their content once a week and they will consider you as a friend because you are marketing and extending their article's reach.
Every once in while you might send 1 or 2 positive social media comments such as, "Check out this great article from @Crowdfunding_PR on xyz subject matter complete with the URL" directly to their twitter account.
Just like anyone else reporters will look to see who shared their content as well as how large your following is. If you worked hard and have 5,000 or more followers on Twitter, you will soon be perceived as an asset.
This process may take several months, but when it comes time to write a press release, issue it over a professional newswire, and then send them a media pitch. They will be much more receptive to your pitch because you have been working for them informally and they will know who you are.
As long as you send them a well-written press release, in story format, that is easy for them to cut and paste, then make small edits and maybe call you for a personal quote, they may just write a great article for you.
Also make sure that you story is a good fit for their editorial environment, which you should know because you have been reading every story they write for a month or more. Trust me when I say, reporters love people who know what they write and don’t send them irrelevant pitches, which they hate.
As you get more and more press coverage, add both your press release, photos, and press articles to your company website. This makes it easy for reporters to find other snippets of information from other press releases and other press stories to beef up the press release you that sent them and maybe turn it into a feature article.
When you launch your crowdfunding campaign, you should have a whole press kit full of stories. In your campaign updates, you can start sharing these articles one by one via the campaign update page once the crowdfunding profile goes live.
To donors/investors it will look like your crowdfunding campaign is generating a ton of positive publicity and create the excitement needed to get them to buy one of your perks. But in reality, you generated a bunch of buzz and ink before the crowdfunding PR campaign even began.
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