This article comes from my experience as a writer for Venturebeat.com, as well as from my experience as a marketing consultant.
The role the media can have on a company is important, particular for startups. Press can help improve a company’s bottom line, business relationships, and reputation.
In fact, one of the best forms of advertising for businesses is publicity via editorial coverage. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most misunderstood marketing channels. In this blog post we will share some of the most important things to consider when approaching the media for your company.
To the entrepreneurs who are unfamiliar with the term, Public Relations (PR) is the practice of optimizing a company’s opportunity to receive free editorial coverage.
PR can be broken down into two types, press releases and company mentions. A company mention can be defined as a business being quoted in the news. Both forms of PR are important, and will add value to a companys marketing efforts.
The most common form of press comes from press releases and because of this, we will clarify some characteristics of a press release launch. The first step with one of these announcements is to create a Press Release, and in order to do so one must define the story. The story of an announcement explains why the article is meaningful and newsworthy. In fact, the story is normally the first line of an article.
Once a press release and press kit (which includes images and important information about the company) have been created, it is important to distribute them to reporters and press release submission websites.
Fortunately, for contacting tech reporters, instead of having entrepreneurs spend hours finding the emails of technology reporters, our company has spent 100 hours creating a free comprehensive tech reporter contact list. The contact list is here Tech Reporter Contact List. When contacting individuals about your press release, aim to email reporters earlier in the week and in the morning, and remember to always follow up. Remember that your goal is to build long term relationships with reporters.
After you have contacted reporters, you should submit the release to Press release submission websites. Press release submission websites provide a great way to distribute your press release to consumers and journalists, and there are many options for when you are releasing your press release. A list of free press release submission websites is HERE. For paid press release submission websites, we personally use PRWeb.com.
Outside of a press release, one of the best way to be referenced in an article is to become a thought leader in a specific niche and to network with reporters. The most effective way to meet reporters is to attend events that are hosted by publications. Normally all of the reporters of the publication will attend these.
Lastly when working on your PR campaign remember that a well-executed campaign can instantly improve your organic search rankings because links from external sites play an important role in telling search engines how important your site is. If you need another reason to pursue a PR campaign, on average 40-50% of a website's traffic will come from search engines.
We hope after reading this you feel better prepared to start your own PR campaigns.
[More information in The Beginner's Guide to PR here]
- Conrad Egusa
Brownstein & Egusa is an online marketing company. The company was founded by Conrad Egusa, who set out to build a successful business by providing companies access to the best online marketing services. B& E has grown to an organization with clients throughout the world, ranging from leading internet businesses (Eyeglasses.com), consulting firms (Stacyblackman.com), to Y Combinator startups.