Presentation for Boulder Denver New Tech. Nov. 1, 2011. Publisher + CEO Tekhne - dot - CO We cover Colorado-based startups, technology and innovation. We’re online only and launched a month ago. Robert asked me to share some tricks of the trade.
If you remember only two things from this presentation: This is it.
Reporters are busy and fiercely competitive. They need what you’ve got: information. But they are bombarded with stupid corporate press releases and invitations to dull events.
This is not about being nice. It’s about helping them be productive and getting a really good story before anybody else.
With that in mind, a typical elevator pitch is too slow for a reporter or tech blogger. 30 seconds. That’s what you’ve got. The pitch can be spoken or read in 30 seconds. Who your company is What your product does Why my readers should care Boom!
Unless the Dali Lama is your new Product Manager, do not send out hiring/promotion press releases like this. This clogs reporters’ inboxes and annoys them. An annoyed reporter writes bad reviews or ignores you. Two things you do not want.
Joel Gratz is a genius. This is his actual pitch to me for OpenSnow.com which launched today. Fast. To the point. Identifies the problem and solution.Timely. Interesting. Read under 30 seconds. I contacted Joel immediately to set up an interview.
For product managers and designers that have been roped into playing PR maven: Think about solving the reporter’s problem like you would for a customer. Iterate your pitches just like your products. Practice. A lot.
There are 2 specific conventions for reaching out to reporters: Media advisory and press release. ~ 2 weeks before event and again 1-2 days before Provide an agenda if there are multiple activities at different times. Be realistic about visuals (photo ops/video). Hackathons with people hunched over computers are not interesting visuals.
These often get re-written without a follow up call. Keep it brief, factual and interesting from the readers point of view not yours. Send as soon as you can publicly release info; no embargoes.
Pitching isn’t just a one-off deal. You’re building a relationship as a news source and an expert. Great to meet you email Keep your about page up to date with clearly marked contact info. Be ready when a reporter calls you with a great problem>solution story. Weave in some timely, interesting stuff with their readers in mind.
Some stories won’t go your way. If there’s a major factual error, contact the reporter and tell them gracefully. This got goofed up in translation and ask for a correction. Focus on the long-term relationship building.
My offer to you. I will critique a practice pitch and give your feedback. Totally confidential. Just make sure you clearly mark it as a practice run and not real. I’m excited to tell your stories. So pitch me!