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50 Shades of Startup PR


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Christian Grey has certainly taught us something about PR and we've laid it all out in this presentation. Here are 52 facts about Public Relations you should know for your small business or startup.

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50 Shades of Startup PR

  3. 3. The number one rule of PR? Make friends before you need them. 1
  4. 4. Your Rolodex is what you make it - organize and store your contacts in a way that helps you work most efficiently. 2
  5. 5. Quid pro quo is alive and well. Give to get! 3
  6. 6. 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. 4
  7. 7. Open with a question, leave a little mystery. Ask a direct question in your email subject for a higher open rate! 5
  8. 8. Keep it casual. Effective PR is about making friends, not contacts. 6
  9. 9. Be specific. Make the next step obvious. Don’t ask to talk “sometime next week.” Lead them in the right direction. 7
  10. 10. 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 connection. 8
  11. 11. Eliminate the fluff. Journalists know when they’re being sold (it happens every day). Be upfront and honest. Avoid too many adjectives and hyperboles. 9
  12. 12. What’s in it for them? Whenever possible, make it a mutually beneficial pitch. 10
  13. 13. Data trumps all. Gather success stats and use them to build a compelling pitch. 11
  14. 14. Sell your story, not your product. Keep focused on why the product exists and why you’re the team to deliver it. 12
  15. 15. Always. Be. Pitching. 12 months a year. Use a calendar to pre-plan themes for each month. 13
  16. 16. Review your pitches with the eye of a devil’s advocate. When in doubt, it’s probably not news. 14
  17. 17. Establish yourself as a thought- leader. Contributed content is a great way to share your opinion and get your company in the spotlight more frequently. 15
  18. 18. Ask a journalist’s permission to be pitched before throwing your pitches blindly into the wind. 16
  19. 19. Be on the lookout for timely and seasonal tie-ins. 17
  20. 20. Poll your community or user base to extract tidbits of information that will be valuable for pitches. 18
  21. 21. 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 sources. 19
  22. 22. 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. 20
  23. 23. 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. 21
  24. 24. PR is a team effort. Everyone on your team needs to think like a publicist and have their eyes open for media-worthy nuggets. 22
  25. 25. Passion is contagious - a compelling story told by founders can be worth its weight in gold. 23
  26. 26. 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 idea. 24
  27. 27. Always measure the impact of your outreach so that you can learn what type of media converts better than others. 25
  28. 28. 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 to. 26
  29. 29. Read your press releases and pitches out loud to ensure they pass your own bullsh*t filter. You want to sound human, not corporate. 27
  30. 30. Read subject lines and headlines backwards to check for typos, grammatical errors and overall effect. 28
  31. 31. Always be on the lookout for ways to help journalists with a story on Twitter or HARO. 29
  32. 32. Don’t be afraid of the competition. Collaborate with them to build a collective pitch that will ultimately generate more awareness for your industry. 30
  33. 33. Invest in great photos of your team and product in action to tell a better story. 31
  34. 34. Great publicists don’t spin the news - they find a truthful angle that appeals to the audience and they tell an amazing story. 32
  35. 35. PR is not just publicity: it’s planning, strategy and execution. 33
  36. 36. Measure your PR efforts. Analyzing and interpreting your data set is the cornerstone of a successful campaign. 34
  37. 37. Press releases are dying. Tell a really great story instead. 35
  38. 38. “For every PR move, there is an equal and opposite reaction as well as a social media overreaction.” - Tim Seidell 36
  39. 39. PR is not free and the time and energy you invest into it will be costly but worth it. 37
  40. 40. When you really want your story told, offer an exclusive to the outlet that deserves it most. 38
  41. 41. Do your pitching from outside your typical environment on occasion. New spaces can provide new ideas and more creativity. 39
  42. 42. Learn from rejection: every no is a future yes if you take a moment to learn from it. 40
  43. 43. Can’t find a journalist’s email? Sign up for a premium account on LinkedIn and send them an InMail. 41
  44. 44. Be ready and willing to give interviews. If you offer the press your news, it’s your job to speak to it. 42
  45. 45. Launches can always be postponed. Never launch a rushed product or website design. 43
  46. 46. Your CEO or Founder should always be your spokesperson: they tell your story best. 44
  47. 47. When it comes to pitches, quality over quantity every time. Several strong, researched and targeted pitches are better than fifty sent out blindly. 45
  48. 48. 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. 46
  49. 49. Journalists love numbers. Know your users, revenue, growth, and traffic numbers. 47
  50. 50. 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. 48
  51. 51. Pitch when journalists are active on Twitter. During daytime hours, it often means they’re online and working. 49
  52. 52. 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 exciting. 50
  53. 53. What is your hottest PR tip for 2015? We’d love to hear it in the comments below or tweet us @onboardly!
  54. 54. LATERS BABY.