Get to the point - fast. You’re
dealing with busy people who
don’t have time to sift through a
novella to find your ask.
Open with a question, leave a
little mystery. Ask a direct
question in your email subject
for a higher open rate!
Keep it casual. Effective PR is
about making friends, not
Be specific. Make the next step
obvious. Don’t ask to talk
“sometime next week.” Lead them
in the right direction.
Get on Twitter ASAP. Journalists and
influencers love Twitter for the most
part, and it’s the least aggressive /
invasive way to make an initial
Eliminate the fluff. Journalists
know when they’re being sold (it
happens every day). Be upfront and
honest. Avoid too many adjectives
What’s in it for them?
Whenever possible, make it a
mutually beneficial pitch.
Data trumps all. Gather
success stats and use them to
build a compelling pitch.
Sell your story, not your product.
Keep focused on why the product
exists and why you’re the team to
Always. Be. Pitching. 12
months a year. Use a calendar to
pre-plan themes for each month.
Review your pitches with the
eye of a devil’s advocate. When
in doubt, it’s probably not news.
Establish yourself as a thought-
leader. Contributed content is a great
way to share your opinion and get
your company in the spotlight more
Ask a journalist’s permission to
be pitched before throwing your
pitches blindly into the wind.
Be on the lookout for
timely and seasonal tie-ins.
Poll your community or user base
to extract tidbits of information
that will be valuable for pitches.
Create content-based resources like
ebooks, white papers and guides to
help your community learn. If they’re
great - the media can use them as
Public Relations is Human Relations.
Ultimately it’s the relationships that you
build and nurture with journalists that will
lead to the most impact in the long run.
Never underestimate the value of niche
media. If you’re highly targeted and
the message is one that the niche
audience will relate to - it’s like
shooting fish in a barrel.
PR is a team effort. Everyone on your
team needs to think like a publicist and
have their eyes open for media-worthy
Passion is contagious - a
compelling story told by founders
can be worth its weight in gold.
Rule of three: Don’t try to get more than
three supporting points across in a pitch or
media release. Focus on one big idea then
use three strong points to validate that
Always measure the impact of
your outreach so that you can learn
what type of media converts better
Reading is the inhale, pitching is the exhale.
Read all you can to see what headlines and
stories get picked up by journalists. This
will help you hone your craft and better
understand the language journalists respond
Read your press releases and
pitches out loud to ensure they pass
your own bullsh*t filter. You want
to sound human, not corporate.
Read subject lines and
headlines backwards to check
for typos, grammatical errors
and overall effect.
Always be on the lookout for
ways to help journalists with
a story on Twitter or HARO.
Don’t be afraid of the competition.
Collaborate with them to build a
collective pitch that will ultimately
generate more awareness for your
Invest in great photos of your
team and product in action to
tell a better story.
Great publicists don’t spin the news
- they find a truthful angle that
appeals to the audience and they tell
an amazing story.
PR is not just publicity: it’s
planning, strategy and
Measure your PR efforts. Analyzing
and interpreting your data set is the
cornerstone of a successful
Press releases are dying.
Tell a really great story
“For every PR move, there is an
equal and opposite reaction as well
as a social media overreaction.” -
PR is not free and the time and
energy you invest into it will be
costly but worth it.
When you really want your
story told, offer an exclusive to
the outlet that deserves it most.
Do your pitching from outside your
typical environment on occasion.
New spaces can provide new ideas
and more creativity.
Learn from rejection: every no is a
future yes if you take a moment to
learn from it.
Can’t find a journalist’s email?
Sign up for a premium account on
LinkedIn and send them an InMail.
Be ready and willing to give
interviews. If you offer the press
your news, it’s your job to speak to
Launches can always be
postponed. Never launch a
rushed product or website design.
Your CEO or Founder should
always be your spokesperson:
they tell your story best.
When it comes to pitches, quality over
quantity every time. Several strong,
researched and targeted pitches are
better than fifty sent out blindly.
As a rule of thumb, wait three business
days to follow-up with a journalist. If
it’s time sensitive, wait at least 24
hours before sending a follow-up.
Journalists love numbers.
Know your users, revenue,
growth, and traffic numbers.
Do your best work during the pitching
hours. Be mindful of timezones and
never start pitching before 9:00am EST.
No journalist wants to wake up to an
inbox of pitches to tend to.
Pitch when journalists are active on
Twitter. During daytime hours, it
often means they’re online and
Just like Christian Grey, always be open to
trying new techniques and moves. The PR
industry is constantly changing. Stay ahead
of the game by keeping it fresh and
What is your hottest PR tip
for 2015? We’d love to hear
it in the comments below or
tweet us @onboardly!