The four step perfect PR pitch
So you've had a brainwave and implemented your idea. You now have a product that you know everyone is going to love, if only they knew about it...
It's about at this point where many startups begin to experience problems. It seems like no-one is interested enough to take a few minutes to look over your website and mention it on their blog. Sound familiar?
The good news is that if you haven't managed to get anyone interested in your product or service, then the problem is more than likely in your PR pitch. It's not yet time to begin second guessing your business.
What you need is to get creative about how to inspire people to being talking about your business. You want bloggers and news sites to be excited about the prospect of covering your launch or other business activities.
Here are four steps you can take to ensure that any pitch (be it email, inmail, phone, elevator, etc) you make is going to be effective.
1. Distill your business value offering into a single sentence
I work with many people who are in the process of bringing their products and services to market, and I can tell you that most people find it physically painful to try and distill the essence of their offering into one sentence.
Most give it a go for an hour or so and give up in frustration (before I get them to try again). One of the most popular excuses is "This is a complicated service - it can't be explained in one sentence."
The point here is not to explain every nuance of your business but to communicate the value of it. One sentence is enough to transmit an idea. It is this idea that must be infectious enough to pique people's interest.
2. Provide direct business relevance
When pitching someone, it is important that they understand why what you're saying is relevant to them, or to their audience. This requires you to understand, or at least be familiar with what they do. Sending out a form email is not generally going to be effective. Find something unique about the people you are pitching and make sure your pitch caters for them.
I'm not saying you have to create a new pitch for every new person, just that each pitch must be made as engaging as possible. Something that is engaging, must be relevant. Otherwise it is too easy to dismiss.
3. Incentivize your coverage
More often than not, there is very little that you (as a startup or small business) can offer a popular blog or news site. I'm not suggesting you offer to fork out thousands of dollars to make it worth a reviewer's time to cover your startup. You can, however, offer an exclusive free trial for their readers - give them something exclusive and unique to give to their audience.
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All things being equal, a blogger is far more likely to write about something that will engage and stimulate his readership. If you don't have a free trial, or some plan in place to offer free promotions, competitions, and so on, then make sure you put something together before you start pitching.
4. Make it short. Make it clear. Make it short. Make it clear.
Three or four lines is all you need to send in an email. Seriously!
Most writers and journalists are a pretty jaded bunch. They have hundreds of people clamoring for their attention all the time. The last thing they are going to spend time on is a dense tome of technical jargon.
Take your time, wording and rewording your pitch until it is short and conveys exactly the message you want to get across. If you can catch someone's attention early on, then the rewards can be spectacular - server crashing, in some cases.
PR Pitch for design-a-webpage
By way of example, here's a PR pitch for design-a-webpage.com that met with some success. Notice how each of the four steps mentioned above have been implemented to shape this into a concise and effective PR pitch:
I read your article on **** and have some news that will definitely interest you.
design-a-webpage* (http://design-a-webpage.com) has just launched a free, one week trial of its landing page designer for small business, marketers & entrepreneurs.
design-a-webpage is an online service that allows anyone to create SEO optimized, socially integrated, high converting and beautiful landing pages in a matter of seconds. Absolutely no Web experience or downloads required.
We'd love to offer you and your readers an EXCLUSIVE DEAL to use our service above and beyond the one week free trial.
Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to know more.
Create amazing landing pages in seconds
* design-a-webpage does not harvest and share email addresses. We offer 100% money back guarantee on our memberships. Members can cancel their accounts at any time.
I guess the one final point to make is that it is important to let people know who you are. Give them your name. Let them know they are dealing with a real person. More often than not, coverage for your business will depend on how you (as a person) interact with other people.
Drop me a line and let me know if you have any success. Best of luck...
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