I spoke with a group of Skillshare Master Teachers about how they could get press for their classes, including tips on how to pitch journalists, as well as how to become a guest writer to boost their reputations.
1. Invite Press• Is your class easily coverable by a reporter?• Is the subject area easy to understand and translate into written word?• Is there a sizable audience that may be interested? – If so, what type of media do they read? – Which reporters at those media outlets should you pitch?
1. Invite Press Lifehacker Needs You! Scott Britton Ari Meisel
1. Invite Press Mashable Needs You! Lukasz Dmowski Avi Flombaum Dan Kozikowski
1. Invite Press Entrepreneur Needs You! Steve Schlafman Scott Pollack Carla Lynne Hall
1. Invite Press Pitch It Like You’d See It • Pitch the story in the way you’d expect the journalist to cover it – Don’t expect journalists to be all-knowing creatures. You’re the expert!
1. Invite Press Formulas That Work • How-Tos • Tips • Studies • Data • Top Lists
1. Invite Press Understand Coverage Area & Audience • Try to avoid this sentence: – “I read your recent post called ‘XYZ,’ and I think you’d be interested in covering my Skillshare class.” • Instead, be personable and welcoming • Explain why your class is a fit for his/her audience • How to find journalists: Google, Twitter, MuckRack.com
1. Invite Press Customize Your Pitches • Journalist’s name • Mention of his or her publication • True interest in recent coverage / coverage area • Details on why your class is relevant
1. Invite Press Avoid Press Releases • 95% of press releases are useless • If you use one… – Be informative, not sales-y – Omit quotes (good publications don’t use them) – Attach or copy-and-paste it below the email – Embed a link to the press release – Or offer to send the press release later • If you don’t use one… – 1 sentence defining your Skillshare class – 2-3 sentences explaining the relevance of your class • EMAIL SUBJECT LINES ARE VERY IMPORTANT!
1. Invite Press Composing a Subject Line • How To Learn To Program In 120 Minutes (Event Invite) • 30+ Life Hacks for Being Awesome (Pitch) • Top 10 Social Media Branding Tips for Small Businesses (Story Idea)
1. Invite Press Have Useful Assets Available • Useful assets include: – Link to your Skillshare class – Class photos – Video recording of your class – PowerPoint deck – Class reviews
1. Invite Press Follow Reporters on Twitter “It’s amazing to me that I get a MUCH higher response rate when pitching reporters via Twitter than email. I would actually go as far as to say that every time I’ve pitched a reporter via Twitter, I have gotten some sort of response (often resulting in a story for my client). Via email, I have maybe a 50% response rate. The phone call response rate would be my lowest.” - Nicole Denton, PR, Pyxl
1. Invite Press Stories I’ve Written with HARO • 13 Branded iPhone Apps That Enhance Their Company’s Products • 13 Ways to Improve Your International SEM Strategy • 7 Unique Eco-Friendly Company Transportation Alternatives • 6 New & Innovative Social Media Campaigns to Learn From • 7 Twitter Marketing Campaigns to Learn From • How The iPad Is Helping Businesses Go Green
2. Write Guest Posts Tips for Guest Writing • Research who manages a publication’s guest writing program • Submit a pitch, not a full story – Different publications have different procedures • Understand the terms of the deal. – Byline or no byline? – Paid or unpaid? • Either way, you’re building your reputation.
Final Tips• Be concise.• Have a very clear message.• Think like the reader.