One American journalist opens the letter, and there. “Hi, Joe. My name is Vasily, ay HEV e startup, VI ar going Tu b e UNICOR soon”. True story.
And anything funny. Pity the journalists, they are also humans, not supermen with iron patience and nerves of steel. Opening such a letter, the journalist wants to find the author and break his hands so that he no longer delivering a pitch for anyone. Lets look at the errors that occur in the early PR activities in a foreign land, and how to avoid them.
So, the first error is carpet-bombing the e-mail list. Most likely, you got friendship from the PR or by inheritance from an old friend-entrepreneur. First, half of this list already dead souls. Journalists sometimes change jobs, publications are sometimes closed (Gigaom, for example).
Secondly, your project will be interesting about anyone of them, because the journalists are likely to write on other topics. The result of such mindless actions will, at best, silence, and at worst angry curses and wishes death to your business. Moreover, none of the journalists will never send colleague your letter. So no need to write “please forward to whom it might be interesting, or tell me who to call”.
To avoid this error just. Do not be lazy to access the websites of the publications and see who of the journalists writing about your competitors and about the industry in General. In this case, note that in one publication, several journalists writing on the same topic — for example, gadgets, or, as we do, logistics. But each of them focuses on one thing.
Apple, toys, transportation on the ground. Those who write on most topics — here they are something you need. The second mistake is to write the journalist an email that contains absolutely zero information. Otherwise, as they say here, Bullitt.
Young PR people sometimes make the same mistake, when there is nothing to report, but to work like as needed, so “write me a Intro”. “Hot” entrepreneurs just dont understand the specifics of communication, but its not rocket science, nothing complicated. However, usually in the letter of the entrepreneur can find something in the format. “Weve got a product, hes got a great UX, the first users will receive a 20% cashback.
Here is the link to app” or “We cool project, soon we will be at the exhibition X, come on Ill meet you there?”. What is there to answer the journalist. I think nothing. This error can be corrected by sharing with a journalist is a useful and clearly written information — for example, that youve collected, making analysis of the market for their product.
Look around it will be so. Hey, Joe. Read your article about X, cool stuff, thanks. A month ago we launched a Y.
Y solves a certain problem in a certain way, it is different from X (and other companies)-so. Per month we here are such indicators (we have 100,000 customers, we integrated in Hooli, a growth of 100%, evaluation in the stores Annex 5 and so on). The market for this size and we look forward to the end of the year get 10%. Was invested in the project these people so much money. Here are links to publication about us and our competitors.
Here are all our contacts. But dont expect that you will answer. If you have the space, you believe in top-end investors, then, of course, you will write. Otherwise, after some time you will need again to remind myself.
But only if you really have something to say. The first letter, the journalists either do not perceive, or, if there is something tasty, believe zero. If the business does not die, but will show growth and good results — it is already possible to write about it. Sometimes I write with a request tweet about startup, to vote on ProductHunt or like page in Facebook.
Please dont do this. Just dont do and all. The third error happens when you want your news to tell the world, and we must pay for the exclusive. Sometimes I spoil relations with journalists forever. In the race for a number of news publications is given under the embargo not one, but multiple publications.
Russian media such errors forgive. American. Never. What to do if the news is not so good, that all have written about her.
For example, a food news is good, but not killer. I advise you to choose the edition that will best reach your audience or which by its status will add weight. For example, The Wall Street Journal or Fortune definitely gives you strength and confidence in the future and increase interest from the business community. Also it happens that there is a topic on which you have something to say — for example, “why do you have to work for the American startup”, “why dont need to go into the accelerator” and so on.
There are two ways. To prepare the material and sell it to someone one, or make friends with the editor of views and, on request, to write a column. Again, writing a text at the request of one editor, no need to give it in the book, which suddenly became more like. Will not understand or forgive.
Fourth mistake happens at a recruitment Agency. The entrepreneur may give the impression that salaried people, who are working simultaneously on a dozen clients, understand their business and will be issued on publication day. Theres a bit of a delve into the specifics of the agencies. They need customers, with most of the account managers sit in the office and PR in the fields pitchat journalists.
The account gets your information and wishes, sends it to the copywriter, writes the release, then this release out on the basis of. Well, when the Agency has expertise in your industry. Otherwise, its just as cold contacts. It turns out that the pitch failed, there are no publications, the budget spent.
There is no result. Of course, if you kick the Agency, constantly shaking, then something happens. What happens. No proactive work.
I experienced this in Turkey, in Brazil and here in San Francisco. We must pay tribute to Russian agencies, there are ready to invent a pitch, a maximum of light news. In the States on this ready only very expensive Agency. And the fifth mistake. To say too much or to gloss over.
In the first case, will lose credibility and the latter the interest of the journalist. A preview of how you will launch next month in 10 markets, will raise a billion dollars, or fly to the moon, will cause confusion, and you look like a madman. Well, only if your name is not Musk. If you shut up a report with negative indicators, data about how you pollute the environment, or information as your employees show obscene gestures to buyers, expect trouble.
In the unsettled relations with the press information flood will cover your business and will not give him a chance to get out. Need to work with the media as with business partners. To respect, not to lie, not to ignore the problem. American journalists, as well as Russian, to comply with etiquette and never to reveal what was “not for publication”, but will treat you with great respect.
But this is true only for large companies. Good luck!