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?
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.