Dear Startups: Be Your Own Publicist, Here’s How!
PR is an invaluable tool for any business, but perhaps especially for small businesses that, ironically and understandably, don’t have the budget to hire a PR firm or a freelance publicist. But for the entrepreneur or small business owner with no public relations experience, our Upitch app and several other innovative apps makes it possible (and easy) to handle your own PR – for free.
Knowing how to write your story from a third party objective perspective – As they say, “you’re too close to the project to be objective.” It’s true for the best and brightest of us. We are so overflowing with enthusiasm for our own startup that we tend to gush all over the page, using flowery wording and overwriting our pitch.
Being concise in your approach and cutting to the chase – See exhibit A above. We know you want journalists to know absolutely everything about your startup so they can see how newsworthy it is, but believe us, the more brief and to the point the better.
Knowing what types of journalists would potentially be interested in your story – This is where many startups sell themselves short. For example, let’s say for the sake of argument you have created the best health-related startup since WebMD. Congrats! But journalists covering health topics aren’t your only audience. Tech journalists, human interested and general assignment journalists, medical researchers, and more would potentially be a good fit for you.
Knowing who to contact – You don’t want to spend your days playing detective and trying to find the right media outlets, the right journalists and then tracking down their email addresses. It’s just annoying and time consuming. You’ve got better things to do.
Your perceived barriers to entry – “I have no media connections so how am I supposed to get media coverage for my startup? No one replies to my emails or returns my calls.” Chances are, you aren’t getting replies from journalists for a multitude of reasons that have nothing to do with the fact that they don’t know you. It could be that you snagged an email address that was old and no longer working properly, your pitch was not constructed well enough, you failed to communicate the value in what you were pitching, your email subject was lacking punch and click-ability.
Here Are Some Super Cool Apps (Yes, Including Ours) That Come to the Rescue:
Upitch App –
No need to worry about overwriting or overselling your pitch. Upitch only gives you a short headline, summary and 400 characters to impress journalists, so you are forced to bring your elevator pitch A-game and get to the point.
No spending countless hours researching journalists. A bunch of them are all at one party – they’re on Upitch.
Look through the app’s dropdown menu of media categories and choose the 2 that best fit your startup. Chances are you’ll get it right.
If your pitch packs a punch and is properly categorized, you will get right swipes and messages. Connections not needed. Journalists are taking the active step of browsing through pitches, looking for your stories.
Friendly App and Hootsuite –
Be your own social media manager –
Use tools like Friendly and Hootsuite to manage your social media content, by featuring your best social content, scheduling posts and communicating with your growing community.
Have an iPad? Then You Can Make a Movie with iMovie
Be a paint by the numbers filmmaker with Apple’s iMovie application. Upload your best images, written copy and video clips and let iMovie do the rest. You can even put your name in the credits.
A Few More Useful Tips –
No One Knows Your Business Better Than You
Think of your Upitch micro-pitch as an elevator pitch. And with designated fields (and character limits) for a headline, summary, and pitch the entire process is remarkably user friendly, even for the technologically-averse!
Let Pictures Do Some of the Talking
Pictures draw people in and make them more emotionally engaged in what they are reading, so take advantage of our app’s 5 picture slideshow option. Upload up to 5 images with your pitch to enhance your message.
Reach the Right People
When uploading your micro-pitch, you’ll be prompted to enter a location and tag your pitch with relevant topics. This makes sure that your pitch is only getting seen by journalists in your area, who cover topics relevant to your business.
Upitch’s in-app chat feature is incredibly efficient. Once a journalist swipes right on your pitch, the chat will open and give you the option to communicate. You can make plans to schedule an interview, send samples, or arrange a store visit – depending on your business and what kind of coverage you are looking for.
Publicists needn’t worry that their jobs will become obsolete, because there will always be businesses that need a team of trained professionals devoting a full-time schedule to handling PR. To be sure, Upitch is primarily marketed as an additional tool for this kind of professional to have in their arsenal. But for a small business who isn’t ready to commit to a publicist yet – Upitch may prove to be a lifesaving PR tool.