Question: How do I pitch the press to get my business featured?
– Samantha Baker, Mississippi
The following answers have been provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council. Founded by Scott Gerber, the Young Entrepreneur Council is an advocacy group comprised of many of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs and thought leaders. The mission of the Council is to help young people overcome the epidemics of youth unemployment and underemployment by teaching them how to become entrepreneurs.
Sell your uniqueness.
“To get the press you have to completely rethink how you present your business. Ask yourself: ‘How is my service different from others?’ If it’s not, then figure out a way to differentiate yourself from your competition. If you are still drawing blanks think of creative ways to pull off PR stunts, research what’s made waves in the press in the past, and mimic what they’ve done.”
– Matt Wilson (@mattwilsontv), co-founder of Under30CEO.com
Make it about you, not your company.
“In our experience, getting press is more about creating a story about the people than it is coverage of a product or service (unless it is inherently a story unto itself, which we have generally not had the luxury of). The human element, the entrepreneurial element, the story of how you got there — that is interesting reading and attractive to reporters.”
– Michael Mothner (@wpromote), founder of Wpromote
Go to where the reporters are.
“Find news sources specific to your industry/space and establish a relationship. Comment on blogs, write to editors saying how you liked their piece in the newspaper, and show that you actually took the time to review the content they cover before you send over your press release. As a general rule, people don’t like to do work so make sure you write your press release in the third person and make it interesting! The reporter should have all the information they need in the email/mailer without having to click links or read up on other sources online. Give it to them all at one time.”
– Lucas Sommer (@audimated), founder of Audimated.com
“Press people who have met me often end up contacting me for interviews or will at least reply when I send messages.”
– Elizabeth Grace Saunders (@reallifee), founder of Real Life E
Sell your uniqueness.
“Every company has something unique about it — you just have to know how to package it for the press. Are you a single mom? Are you from a small town? Promote yourself as a ‘single mom from a small town makes good’ story. Is your company the first company to ever do X in California? Talk about it! It doesn’t matter if it’s not your company itself that initially gets the attention of the press. Once the microphone is in your face you can talk about whatever you want — including your company’s new growth strategy.”
– Windsor Hanger (@windsorhanger), co-founder of Her Campus Media
Tell a story.
“Nobody cares about your products or its features. Ask yourself, ‘So what?’ Your new product holds 50GB of music? So what? Your tires never run out of air? So what? Craft a story that features your product and you’re far more likely to get great press.”
– Ramit Sethi (@ramit), founder of IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com