Should I email them, call them, reach them via Twitter? Even if I understand what they cover and explain how my startup matches what they cover, how can I get them to really listen? I am convinced they will like the startup, as it is different and awesome. Are services like PR web or Pitch Pigeon useful or a waste of time?
Sign up for all of their newsletters then respond with your brief pitch. Many are do-not-respond emails, but you will be suppressed at how many are not. Secondly, type in words related to your product and put the name of the newspaper, media that you want behind it in the search. For example, (type of product) WSJ. Then contact the writer who wrote a similar story as yours. Their email address will usually be at the bottom of the article. I have been featured in NYT, WSJ, ABC News and other media by doing this.
Best of Luck,
From the Trenches to the Towers Marketing