PR is one of the best sources of free traffic and finding ways to get users cost-efficiently is critically important if you're looking to build a viable business model.But for a new startup, it's not as easy as it sounds. There are thousands of apps launching each month and not all of them get the desired coverage.
The good news is that a good old hustle can get you much farther than waiting for things to just happen. Here are some tips to assist you in the process.
1. Nail Your One Sentence Pitch
Journalists are pitched to every day. They get hundreds of emails, they're tweeted at, and are approached in person at events and conferences. Then they have to spend their days reading, researching, and writing.
Frankly, no one is going to read your lengthy emails and listen to complex pitches explaining every aspect of your app. If you can't convey your idea in a single sentence and make it attractive, you're done.
So, nail your one sentence pitch and make it powerful, clear, and concise. Use the language of a sixth grader and avoid buzzwords, superlatives, and technical terms. A great template to follow is the one designed by Adeo Ressi.
2. Have Some News
To land a name for your mobile app design, you need to offer some news. The reality is that most apps are particularly unique or breakthrough, so make sure you have something newsworthy to offer. For example:
- Launch of your app, product, or new feature
- Closing an investment round
- Announcement of a high-profile partnership
- Reaching an important milestone
- Response to current/trending events
- Release of interesting data or study by using Appstack like guidelines.
PR marketing is not a one-off event. It's rather a continuous process or an effort that should become a habit. So, every time you have some news to offer, reach out. Over time, you'll develop connections and things will get easier.
3. Make a Hit-list of Relevant Journalists
Most founders/marketers assume that they should just pitch the editor-in-chief. In reality, major publications have journalists that specialize in particular areas such as hardware, mobile, productivity, food, enterprise, etc.
Aside from finding the relevant person, look up the preferred pitching method for a given publication. For example, stories for Mashable should be pitched to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best way to start is by using Google to find articles related to your market and copying the names of the journalists to a spreadsheet. An even better tool is Buzzsumo.
4. Do Your Research
Before you send out any emails, make sure you know something about the journalists you're going to pitch to, so that you can establish rapport and make it more engaging.
As for finding emails, use JustReachOut. This tool tools makes this aspect of PR marketing incredibly easy. To track what happens from your emails, Sidekick from Hubspot is another great tool.
5. Prepare Your Email Pitch
According to media entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, a good PR pitch contains 3-4 sentences. Again, you want it clear and concise with a powerful call to action. Your subject line should be catchy.
Ideally, you want to start with something you know about the journalist; something honest, not generic (it's obvious when it's generic). For example, mention something you liked about their recent article.
Then, follow up with your one sentence pitch and/or some news. Lastly, end it with a call to action. Jason suggests, "I would love to talk to you anytime, anywhere, for 15 minutes if you’re interested in what we’re doing."
6. Reach Out
Send out the emails. Use Sidekick if you'd like to get some insights as to what happened with your emails. If you have plenty of contacts, test various subject lines.
Another good hack is to research the time-zone of the journalists and schedule your emails to send around 6-7 am their time. This will ensure that your email lands somewhere at the top of their inbox.
7. Reverse Pitch
There’s also a completely opposite way to approach your PR marketing. Use sites like HARO to reverse the process. On these sites, journalists submit requests for sources and respond to those requests.