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How to deal with tech media by @mikebutcher

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How to deal with tech media by @mikebutcher

  1. Mike Butcher Editor, TechCrunch Europe http://eu.techcrunch.com/about mikebutcher@techcrunch.com @mikebutcher Linkedin.com/in/mikebutcher Facebook.com/mikebutcher
  2. News is a Purple Cow
  3. News is about my title, my traffic and my readers - not your company
  4. The fact that you exist is NOT news!
  5. The fact that you exist is NOT news!
  6. Want to make news? Join the news agenda!
  7. Conversations usually beat press releases
  8. NOTE ABOUT EMBARGOS Writers don‟t like them. They‟d rather have exclusives Can you trust the writer to hold? Better to negotiate.
  9. PRs often say LAUNCH BIG & WIDE! But often better to focus on one trusted / influential writer, or a few (but use different story angles for each)
  10. Negotiate before you shoot
  11. Why negotiate? Here‟s why:
  12. A day in the life of a stressed tech writer.
  13. INCOMING!! Email SMS Voice calls Skype / IM Facebook IM / Messages Twitter @replies Twitter DMs Face-to-Face
  14. What I have on my plate on most days: 3-5 News stories by 9am 4-5 Feature ideas Write-ups from trips Arranging travel Arranging meetings Incoming crap
  15. Then I get this:
  16. “@mikebutcher HeyMike, we just launched!”
  17. So, for me to drop everything and write about you, your story needs to be BETTER than everything else.
  18. Answer: Unlikely. So – You increase you chancesby pre-briefing E.g. One/two line email: “Mike, we‟re doing X tomorrow/next week. Interested?”
  19. How DO you negotiate? • We want to offer you this as an exclusive • We’re either: Ready when you are, post whenever you like in the next few days • OR • “Exclusivity lasts for the next 2 hours/2 days” etc • We are NOT going out to other media until after the story is live withon your site
  20. But put substance into the first pitch And don‟t ask permission. Just do it “HeyMike, Would you mind if I sent you a press release?” #FAIL
  21. And: Get to the damn point! Mike, given your background, I thought you could be interested in talking to the founder of Flat-Club NitzanYudan. With on-going debates on whether we are entering a second Internet bubble and predictions that this year would yield the most IPOs of technology stock since 2000, Nitzan strongly believes that the new wave of tech start-ups would only be successful if they can add value by creating new markets, rather than focus only on streamlining efficiencies. A case in point is his business – 80% of the properties Flat-Club offers have not been previously available in the market. Nitzan can also talk to you about what it means and what it takes to be a successful Internet start-up today. If you are interested in talking to him please let me know and I can arrange an interview. Below I’ve provided further information on Flat-Club and Nitzan’s bio. OR Interview with the founder of Flat-Club NitzanYudan? He’s experienced because… He can talk about… the tech bubble… donkey sex… whatever Here’s some more info below. Thanks
  22. Don‟t be a leech. Network. Get noticed.
  23. Your launch party is not news
  24. Even better: Great products make news. A product that goes viral is much better „news‟ than a PR release. So build a great product.
  25. Be a great contact
  26. Be a cool blogger, Twitterer, Gpluser! (?)
  27. In other words: MAKE some damn news yourself! • Start a fight: e.g. Apple Vs Everyone
  28. Understand who you are talking to
  29. Target the right title & the right writer: • Target influencers • National papers often follow big blogs like TC
  30. Try to pitch to a writer in person If not, then add personality to email pitch. Include pictures/video
  31. Be quirky, pitch with a secret wooden box!
  32. The media likes talking to the people in charge
  33. Should you hire a PR firm? Maybe.
  34. PR firms = Relationships Introductions do the same
  35. One company in a space is not (generally) a story
  36. Don‟t be annoyed if you don‟t get coverage 400 emails a day, other news stories, just busy, whatever. Shit happens.
  37. Please pitch like a human
  38. So What IS a Story? • Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z”
  39. So What IS a Story? • Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” • Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…”
  40. So What IS a Story? • Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” • Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…” • Insight: “Trend X will change the world”
  41. So What IS a Story? • Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” • Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…” • Insight: “Trend X will change the world” • Evolution: “Startup Y is like the X for Z”
  42. So What IS a Story? • Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” • Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…” • Insight: “Trend X will change the world” • Evolution: “Startup Y is like the X for Z” • Success: “Awesome Y created!”
  43. So What IS a Story? • Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” • Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…” • Insight: “Trend X will change the world” • Evolution: “Startup Y is like the X for Z” • Success: “Awesome Y created!” • Failure: “Company X dying/screwed up”
  44. So What IS a Story? • Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” • Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…” • Insight: “Trend X will change the world” • Evolution: “Startup Y is like the X for Z” • Success: “Awesome Y created!” • Failure: “Company X dying/screwed up” • You are The Story: “Kid creates FB” • Celebrity: Ashton Kutcher invests! • Krakow company hacks Facebook!
  45. What should you send the media? It‟s all about saving the media time • LIST OF KEY BULLET POINTS FIRST e.g. • WireWAXhas received investment from Passion Capital • wireWAXhave over 1,500 paying subscribers ETC ETC • Video embed codes and setup for the dimensions of TC •Crunchbaseentry • Direct hyperlink to web-ready logo (NOT a hi-res image. This is not a fucking print title)
  46. What should you send us? It‟s all about saving the media time • Press Release IN PLAIN TEXT IN THE EMAIL (Do NOT send press releases as attachments) • Screen shots are ok as attached • Link to preview of site/app • Extra quotes • Links to previous articles about Startup • Mobile phone number/Skype address for key contacts etc
  47. To Summarize • Know Who To Contact • Create Relationships Before The Pitch • Networking and creating buzz will help, before you pitch • Have a unique story • Personalize the pitch • Lay out the benefit for MY readers
  48. DON‟T! • Be insulting • Give me your whole life story • Send 100 bloggers the same email • Don’t send me the same pitch multiple times – come up with new angles
  49. DON‟T! • Don’t try to PR your company because you want your dick to look bigger • Don’t be vague: Identify what you want covered
  50. And now a quick word about how to connect with London
  51. TechHub: Connect to London
  52. TechHub beats expensive European conferences: Conferences: €500+ a day TechHub: €428 a *year* There is ALWAYS something going on
  53. TechHub.com / @TechHub
  54. Yes, but how do I get on TechCrunch.com?
  55. Mike Butcher Editor, TechCrunch Europe http://eu.techcrunch.com/about mikebutcher@techcrunch.com @mikebutcher Linkedin.com/in/mikebutcher Facebook.com/mikebutcher

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