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Join tech journalist Erica Swallow for an overview of public relations strategies to interact with journalists and ultimately gain press for your startup.
You'll learn the basics of public relations strategies for startups, including how to engage and build relationships with the media, how to craft an amazing pitch, what "exclusive" and "embargo" mean, which assets are useful for journalists, what not to do, and a boatload more.
This class will also include a number of case studies from recent pitches that Erica has received from fledgling startups. She will show you a behind-the-scenes look at how she was pitched and how each pitch panned out.
After taking this course, students should understand the basics of public relations strategies and engaging the press and be on their way to coverage!
|Section 1: INTRODUCTION|
|An introduction to the course, what you'll learn, and your instructor, Erica Swallow.|
|Section 2: PERFECTING YOUR PITCH|
|Before sending out any pitches, take time to craft your company’s message. Be able to explain your startup in one sentence so that anyone — techie or not — can understand its purpose. In this lesson, you'll learn how to craft a concise, value-driven message to explain what your startup does.|
|It's important that startups have a go-to, one-sentence pitch that explains what they do. Founder Institute's Adeo Ressi explains his "Madlibs for Pitching" approach for creating this one-sentence pitch. After watching this video, take some time to craft a one-sentence pitch for your startup, using this formula.|
Before you begin pitching your startup, stop to think about what is truly newsworthy, especially to the publications you’re targeting. A few starter ideas for newsworthy events:
By only pitching newsworthy events, you're more likely to get a higher response rate from journalists and you'll be ever so closer to getting a coveted press mention. The goal here is not to inundate writers, but to supply them with interesting, relevant news when it arises.
|When pitching, include data and numbers that support your ideas when possible. In fact, an interesting study, infographic or other data sometimes warrants its own pitch. If your company has gathered proprietary information that tells a compelling story, pitch it.|
|Section 3: COMMUNICATING WITH JOURNALISTS|
|Journalists are flooded with emails every day. If you want your messages to stand out, you'll need to approach them from a genuine place of common interest. It's all about making a connection. This lesson will introduce the concept of treating journalists like humans - an oddly little-known secret to dealing with the press - and arm you with some actionable tips for researching and getting to know journalists.|
|If you aren't well-versed on journalism lingo, there are at least two terms you should understand: exclusive and embargo.|
|A majority of startup pitching occurs via email, so your job is to become an Inbox Maven. This lesson will provide you with some of my best practices for engaging with journalists via email.|
Emailing Like a Pro
|Section 4: FINDING JOURNALISTS|
|Because Twitter is a conversation-focused social network, many journalists seem to spend a lot of time on it, sharing and consuming news. The microblogging site is a great place to connect with writers and journalists of almost any stripe.|
|Instead of pitching reporters, let them pitch you. Sound like a dream? Nope. It's reality! Learn how you can benefit from reverse pitching.|
Getting Press via Reverse Pitching
|Section 5: CONCLUSION|
|You're just about finished with the course! Here are my final works of wisdom as you get ready to rock the startup PR world.|
|As a final review for this course, read my article, "10 Essential PR Tips For Startups," as first seen on Mashable. It's a basic look at what you've learned in this course and should help tie everything together.|
|Section 6: MUST-WATCH PANEL|
While this video may be a few years old, the commentary is as relevant as ever. This is one of my favorite panels on the subject of startup PR and is perhaps the most informative panel I've ever sat on or been a part of, featuring the following speakers (titles and bios circa 2010):
Raw and off-the-cuff, this video should be a real treat. Enjoy!
Erica Swallow is a New York City-based tech and lifestyle writer, owner of Southern Swallow Inc., and director of community at technology startup Contently. She contributes to Forbes, Mashable, and Entrepreneur, and her work has also appeared on CNN, USA Today, Business Insider, and American Express OPEN Forum, among other sites. Previously, Erica managed supported content at Mashable and before that, she helped develop and implement the social media marketing strategy for The New York Times.
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