Hack the Press: How to do PR for Startups


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Harness the power of PR and learn how to deal with the press. A presentation by Oussama Ammar, cofounder at TheFamily.

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Hack the Press: How to do PR for Startups

  1. 1. [Hack the Press]
  2. 2. [Hack the Press]
  3. 3. Good PR can be a powerful tool
  4. 4. It’s great for acquisition, 
 BUT always a poor retention tool
  5. 5. How to do it right
  6. 6. Don’t just focus on peers and investors target users / customers!
  7. 7. Getting a tech blog to write about you is important, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg!
  8. 8. Write a (long) list of key publications, blogs, etc. that cover the people you want to reach.
  9. 9. Customize Your Pitches Take the extra time to craft custom emails for a small list of journalists that you really want to cover your story.
  10. 10. Differentiate your message for each channel Your customers don’t care about funding, tell them about new product features!
  11. 11. Understand a journalist's 
 coverage area & audience
  12. 12. Do your homework and be sure to differentiate yourself
  13. 13. But don’t bullshit them A lot of entrepreneurs claim to be the “only” ones doing X, Y, and Z, but it is rarely true
  14. 14. Know what's newsworthy • • • • • The startup's launch ! The launch of a new product, feature or offering ! The release of a compelling study or interesting data ! The company's response to a current event ! News of a high profile partnership
  15. 15. Have a concise, value-driven message
  16. 16. ! Write a story Press releases are usually long, full of boring quotes and marketing jargon.
  17. 17. Access key journalists with social proof. Help them do their job & build relationships
  18. 18. Journalist are busy people
 Write *short* emails and get to the point!
  19. 19. Have useful assets available ● A company or product description ● Photos relevant to the story ● Screenshots of the product
  20. 20. Send some materials (pitch deck, etc) but don’t expect them to read it
  21. 21. Get them on beta / Using your product 
 Listen to and engage on their feedback
  22. 22. For the best: give them exclusive (and meaningful) data Give them an angle, interview, information, 
 quote, infographic that no one else has
  23. 23. Stay in touch! Update them Build a relationship
  24. 24. Follow journalists on Twitter and interact with them Check out Muck Rack, a list of journalists on Twitter. ! Use tools like HARO and NewsBasis to find and respond to reporter requests for sources
  25. 25. Go global! It’s never been easier to get high quality translations and to gain access to international blogs
  26. 26. Other languages (beyond English & French) Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Mandarin, Russian, German, Japanese, Korean & Italian
  27. 27. Think about time zones
  28. 28. Engage with people commenting on blogs, tweeting, posting on your FB page, etc
  29. 29. Create a list of Ambassadors: People ready to retweet, share on Facebook, leave good reviews, etc.
  30. 30. Get people with large twitter and FB followings!
  31. 31. Make it simple for them: Have sample tweets to copy & paste, have a common hashtag for all, etc
  32. 32. Be a pro, have a pre-launch checklist: 
 Embargo* / timings clear to everyone, servers ready, support team ready, etc. * An embargo is "a request by a source that the information or news provided by that source not be published until a certain date or certain conditions have been met"
  33. 33. Have a Q&A ready for you and the team with key questions that will come up
  34. 34. Measure and improve
 Analyse where traffic came from and what quality that traffic had (i.e. conversion to active user, etc)
  35. 35. Decide whether a channel was just bad or you need to improve how you use it
  36. 36. Know when to take 
 “No” for an answer
  37. 37. Asking a reporter to write about the same story over and over is the best way to get ignored
  38. 38. Be date < your story flexible! Launch getting attention
  39. 39. Good reasons to change your press date: ● Surprise announcement by Apple ● Natural disaster / events with 24/7 news coverage ● Your CEO / Key contact won’t be available ● Important event in your industry
  40. 40. All this can be done without an agency!
  41. 41. TheFamily Press Hacking Framework [ CONFIDENTIAL ]
  42. 42. You are Welcome to Join the Adventure apply@thefamily.co!