Dear Professor Bruce: I run a small technology company. We are about to launch a new product and have a limited marketing and public relations budget?
According to Mike Berman, Technology Blogger for Scrippsnews.com, getting someone to write about or review your product is a fairly simple task, as long as you follow a few rules:
- Make sure you’re sending your press release or pitch to the correct person. Don’t do a mass mailing to every reporter or editor, and expect it to make it past the waste basket. Many publications list the specific duties of their staff members either on the editorial page or on their websites. You can sometimes find them listed on the third or fourth pages of a publication along with the publishers’ statement.
- Determine what makes your product different from others on the market. Notice I didn’t say “unique,” because NOTHING is unique.
- Emphasize this in a written pitch, either in a press release or an email.
- Only send ONE copy of your pitch. Those that I receive multiple times end up in the trash bin.
- Feel free to follow up to see whether I received your pitch after a few days either by phone or email. (Hint: Phone calls are rarely returned unless I know who you are, so an email may garner better results.)
- If possible, offer a review sample for me to look at and evaluate.
- Don’t be a nudge! It sometimes takes a couple of months for a product pitch to make it in print due to the flood of requests we receive every day. One reminder is fine. We know you’re anxious for us to get the word out.
- Get directly to the point in your pitch. Try to avoid flowery language or annoying keywords such as “stupendous” and “marvelous.”
It is very rare that a press release will make it into print, unless it is submitted to a publication that collects them and reprints them. In our case, we have a special category on our website where press releases we think are interesting are placed. But we make the clear distinction that these are press releases and offer no endorsement of the product.
Also, many times only the first two or three paragraphs of a release make it, especially in print publications. This means you should put all of the facts related to your product or service in that part of your release. In fact, it’s a good rule of thumb to put all of the essential information in the first paragraph.
For further information, please visit http://www.scrippsnews.com/blogs/michael-l-berman and www.jocgeek.com.
E-mail questions to Bruce@Smallbusinessprofessor.com.