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?
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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