What is the best way to reach out to blogs/online publications for PR?
I eventually want to hire a PR firm to get press in larger, national publications (Wall Street Journal, for example), but for now I want to start building my online presence on sites such as Tech Crunch or Venture Beat. What is the best way to approach these sites? Should I write and tell them about my company/why their audience would care? Should I write up my own blog post and send it to them? Any suggestions or success stories would be much appreciated!
Thomas ... Let's start from the beginning.
What's your goal(s) first for the business and for the marketing communications / public relations campaign? Is it to build brand awareness, generate leads, growing revenue or seeking investors — or all of the above?
Who is your target audience? Parents, medical professionals, etc.?
What is the value proposition and the benefit of your software / game? How does the game work?
What age of children is the game designed for?
Has the game been clinically tested? If yes, what are the results? Where was the child from a learning standpoint (grades, reading level, comprehension, etc.) and where did they end up after using the game?
Who were the medical professionals involved in the clinical testing? What's their background? Are they willing to be interviewed? Can you get testimonials (quotes) from the parents of the children in the trial?
Who developed the game/software? Was it you? Why was it developed? Did the developer have a child with ADHD? What's the developers background?
Now that you've defined your goals and answered the who, what, why, where, when and how questions now you can move forward.
First, find a solo practitioner in the area and ask them if they have Vocus or similar software. Give them your target audience parameters. They can develop a list of trade publications, news outlets and bloggers along with the names of the editors and writers for a relatively cost-effective price.
These services can also provide you with bios and other important information on the bloggers, editors and writers. From there you can research the publications and editors/writers on style and rules of content as everyone has mentioned.
From all of this information write press release(s), article(s) and case study(ies) along with backgrounder, bio of the developer, important screenshots of the software, and if you can create a screencast video of the software and how it works even better.
NOTE: Just like you can save money by writing a draft of a contract and then having an attorney review it. You can do the same with writing. Write a draft and then have a professional review and edit it for you.
Can you set up a microsite that allows they editor or writer the ability to engage with the software/game? If yes, do it. Give them a user name and password in your introduction/pitch.
Put all this information on your website in a media room. Then post your press release(s) on a distribution service like PRWeb. Next send a personalized letter or email to all those people on your media list. Keep it short and to the point with links to your information.
While email is ubiquitous, some editors/writers still like receiving information via postal. When developing your media list the resource used should give you their preferred method of contact.
One last thing, you may need to write multiple press releases, articles, and case studies based on the audience of the publication and blog.
I hope this helps.
I just came across this infographic that you might find helpful.
Recommended PR is mentioned in one of the boxes on the right hand side.
I would suggest by writing blogs that would be relevant to their readers and submitting them to be published. I would also suggest commenting on their existing posts with the intent to engage in meaningful feedback/conversation. This should help build your following and credibility to get you into the larger publications.
For a deep answer to your question I recommend you this guide:
The PR company could be also very useful to you as they provide real results with accesible prices.
A great source of publications is ISSUU.COM. Not sure about PR related info but it's worth a shot
Become a specialist. If you're trying to compete with the noise of other business owners spouting their greatness, you're missing a trick. Being a specialist in a specific area of expertise let's you cut above the clutter and focus (which is all that strategy is anyway) on the right customers for your business. Pick a subject matter that you know about and preferably one you care about and write, write and write some more. Then the right audience will pick up on it and eventually come to you (because you are a specialist). This allows you to charge more for your services.
I would suggest writing a professional press release (there are many helpful and free sites to show you how) and send and sending a blog post follow up. Today, often we need to contact people numerous times and in numerous ways to get noticed.
Looks like others had my answer. Do your research. How do these sites relate to yours? Why should they connect with you? You might not necessarily need to write a blog post and send it to them, but you can write to ask them to connect with you. Seriously, cruise through their site, find the proper person to connect with and either straight out call and/or email them. Be respectful, complimentary about something on their site and ask.
There's really no shortcut in getting this done, but there are ways about it. You may want to try checking out the PR firms. Ask yourself, what's your Christmas wish list? Who would you want to rep you to Tech Crunch + Venture Beat? Check out their style and their voice, study it and see on how your voice will be able to attract TC/VB. Developing a relationship with the top writers too is another way to go - if you don't live in the same country, email them and invite them for 'virtual coffee' on Skype, and have a conversation with them. These guys are notoriously busy, so keep it to a time limit - remember, you have to do the elevator pitch in the first 3 mins, sound enthusiastic and then chat for another 7 minutes and end it. You may just get lucky - either with a write up, a by line or a point to the right direction to get you where you want to. Hope this helps!
Hi Thomas, the key is developing a relationship with the authors who are most likely to be interested in your content. Reporters, journalists, bloggers, etc., are normal albeit busy people. They have companies pushing content on them constantly. To stand out journalists need to know who you are, know that you are familiar with their work, and see that you have something that is of interest to their readers. You can start by following them on Twitter and engaging with them there. LinkedIn would also be good if you are able to find/connect with them on that platform.
It also helps to give them something unique, not available to every other journalist. Maybe you can get them an interview with someone of note, or a sneak peak at a new product.
Good luck in your efforts and let me know if I can be of further assistance!