I am Founder CEO of a travel startup that is about to launch our product on January 15th. I am wondering what strategy I can use in order to get Press to write articles about our launch. To give you a perspective on launch, we will be doing an early bird campaign between Dec 15th - Jan 15th where people can buy our membership products at discounted prices. We have an awesome SM campaign happening on twitter and FB right now wherein a large number of bloggers and travel agents involved as partners with us. Between now and launch, we will have 3000 impression on twitter and 1500 impression on FB about our company. Given all these accomplishments, I want to know how to attract Press to write articles about us.
Most people -- regardless of their company or product -- go about attracting press the wrong way.
The publications exist to provide value to their readers and increase their own readership.
Rather than proclaiming how your product is the most amazing thing since sliced bread, think about it from the publication's point of view.
How will YOU help THEM solve a problem for THEIR readers?
Secondly, do your research on which author/contributor/editor/writer to contact. Not all cover the same topic, nor do they all have the same interests. What may be appealing to one may look like spam to the next. Understand who on staff covers your industry or similar products. Look at what features they highlighted in other product/service reviews; these are the issues they feel are important to their readers.
Help them solve THEIR problem and they'll write about you all day long.
Identify 3-5 key media outlets/reporters. You can begin to develop relationships with these reporters now on your social channels. Read what they write, comment and share. Don't fake it but genuinely engage. When you are ready to pitch your key media targets, take time to develop a succinct, relevant pitch. As others have noted the story is not about you but what will it mean to the outlet's readers. Don't say you're excited or it's the best product ever, but tell the facts and remember to focus on why the reporter would be interested. Customize each pitch to the reporter. It's fine to follow-up if you don't hear in a week. An extra step that you can take, is send an email intro long before you pitch, introducing yourself, and let them know why you're writing. Ask about stories they are working on and if you can be of help.
I have close to 20 years in this department and have placed clients in the NY Times, Sunday Times (UK), AP, Buzzfeed and outlets around the world. Getting press is about thoughtful, personalized, targeted pitches. Press releases are useless. We still write them for clients and use them as reference tools but they are not what gets the job done. What gets the job done is being a useful source for journalists and media, talking to them in a language they understand and like and offering value. There are thousands of ways to skin a cat. Here is one of many many many tactics that you can use. As CEO ask yourself what you're a SME (subject matter expert) in. Make a list of topics you can speak about intelligently and with complete authority. Then look up articles and press from journalists who write about those topics, track down the writers through Twitter, FB, LinkedIn and other ways (many freelancers have their own websites) and introduce yourself and your company. Don't make it a sell about the company, simply make it an introduction and let them know that should they ever need a source to speak about X,Y,Z etc. that you are available anytime. Ask them what stories they're working on. Get a conversation and relationship going in a human and interesting way. Have a sense of humour. Be authentic. Keep it short -always. Be of value and of interest to them. Offer your product free for them to try simply so that you can get their feedback and with no promise of coverage. Over time they will come to trust you, like you, be interested in what you offer and give you coverage in return. Start with a great targeted list of journalists you'd like to approach and then build that list out as time goes. Things media pay attention to: the first, the last, the smallest, the largest, the most expensive, the only, the fastest, the slowest. What makes your offering special, newsworthy, different? Find not just one or two hooks but as many hooks as you can and go after them. This advice is the tip of the ice berg. If you have questions don't hesitate to reach out. Happy to answer any questions you have or provide further insights once I know the complete nature of your business. Good luck!
Simple. Find press that talk about companies like yours and approach with a press release that grabs their attention. In other words, a press release that is written like a news article. Followup by email or phone within a week. Press want good story ideas that will result in captivating stories for their audience.
In addition to what everyone else has already shared, make sure you sign up to receive daily HARO emails (http://www.helpareporter.com/) which contain requests from press nationwide who are looking for specific stories, experts, etc. You never know, someone might be putting together a major piece that is relevant to the product you are about to launch.