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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 status quo wrecker and technology entrepreneur. Her thoughts have been published in Forbes, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal, among others, and she has been identified as an international thought-leader, as well, having spoken about her work at industry-shaping conferences, including SXSW, Web Summit, and WOMMA Summit.
Erica previously served as the director of community for tech startup Contently, where she managed online and offline community building. She also previously managed the highly successful supported content program for tech news site Mashable and assisted in developing and implementing the social media marketing strategy for The New York Times. Beyond her roles at these organizations, Erica has worked on a number of high-energy projects with teams at TechStars, WeHostels, Saatchi & Saatchi, and New York University, and is the co-founder of peer-to-peer delivery app, Deliverish.
Erica will soon hold an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management (expected June 2015) and holds a B.S. in marketing and international business from New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. She is passionate about the future of education and work and will soon be embarking on the next chapter of her life: Solving America's biggest challenge… it's education system.
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Certificate of completion
Hours of video content