How to Attract Publicity for Your Launch

August 30, 2016

11:45 am

The countdown has begun. After months or even years of effort, your startup or new product is about to launch. You’re excited about this for sure! All that’s left to do is getting everybody else as enthused as you are. That means you have to attract the right kind of publicity. The following steps will serve as your guide.

Identify the Media Outlets Bloggers and Journalists Who Are Going to be Interested

Not everybody is going to be interested in your launch. So, don’t waste your time casting a wide net. Instead, focus on getting the attention of those how are specifically into your niche.

For example, if you are opening up a storefront in your town, you might consider focusing your efforts on local media sources and bloggers. You can begin by looking at the website of your local newspaper. In most cases, you can go to the contact us page and find contact information for newsroom staff. In the case where you are opening a cafe, you would probably want contact information for staff members in the lifestyle, food, or entertainment departments.

If you were launching a technical or financial startup, you would find the contacts who were appropriate for those businesses. If there are niche publications in your area, you can do same thing.

Of course, you should never dismiss what the endorsement of a local blogger can do for you.  

Create a Press Kit

Creating buzz is a great thing. Just be sure you are ready for it. If the media is interested in your launch, they are going to hit up your website. When they get there, make sure your press kit is easy to find. Some startups swear by hosting their press kit on Medium, hence amplifying the possible reach even further.

If you approach anybody with a pitch, be sure to include the link to your press kit. The essential items to include in your press kit:

  • a company overview
  • your and your team members’ bios
  • contact information including social media
  • product descriptions
  • High-res pictures
  • Featured quotes
  • Recent press releases and/or links to other publications.

Even if a journo doesn’t contact you directly, they should be able to pull enough information from your press kit to write up a piece.

Find a Distribution Channel for Those Pitches

You might find that many online publications are all too happy to run with your pitch. That might not be a good thing. Yet, there’s a way around it. You can give your story a good initial kick by securing sponsored editorial coverage, instead of using the standard press release syndication services, which usually bring rather mediocre results., for instance, is the first marketplace where various global publishers set up their rates for sponsored editorial content and you can secure a story within just a few clicks. All the publications are rated based on their traffic, social media fans and additional metrics, which makes it easier to pursue a very specific audience.

Once your story “breaks in”, it would be easier to secure further coverage and have it picked up by other outlets.

Write Personalized Pitches

One common recommendation is that you only send one pitch to each editorial department of a media outlet. In other words, if you are pitching to an online publication, you would pitch once to their business department, and once to their entertainment/lifestyle department. Contacting multiple people in the same department can feel like spamming.

Here’s one way to take this bit of advice to the next level. Take the time to create a personalized pitch for each media contact that you make. This is especially important when you contact different departments in a smaller media outlet. In fact, not only should you create personalized pitches within media outlets, your pitches should also specifically target writers in specific niches. Here are some other essential dos and don’ts of pitching the press.

Engage in Newsjacking

Newsjacking is the practice of capitalizing on a news story in order to draw attention to your brand. Done the wrong way, this is a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, if you handle things sensitively, this is a great way to draw attention to your impending launch.

For example, if there is a fair or community event going on during the weekend of your launch, you could check into becoming a sponsor at that event. You could also encourage attendees at that event to stop by before or after the event to check out your business.

The more eyes that are on you when you launch your startup, the better positioned you will be. These tips should help you to earn the publicity that you need to make your launch a success. Good lucking pitching your launch!

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien