Make a Good Impression on the Press
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Having a few voices and outlets beyond your immediate circle sharing your work can be very helpful in getting the word out. It introduces new people to what you’re working on and readers can very likely become fans or backers. But how do you get bloggers or journalists to cover your project? Getting press to cover your project can be tough, but even if a few outlets with followers interested in your project’s themes cover your story, that’s a win! Here’s how you can find the outlets that make the most sense for your project and create an actionable pitch to get them excited about what you’re making.
Build a press list
- You’ve probably already built a list of themes that overlap with your project. Keep that handy. If you haven’t done this, you can use this worksheet to get started!
- Next, set up a Google alert using words from your project’s themes. This will give you a sense of who is talking about topics that overlap with your project.
- Identify any blogs, press outlets, and specific journalists that come up in your Google alert. Follow them and get more familiar with the type of content that they share and promote.
- Think about who is in your immediate network. Do you have a friend that blogs consistently? Do you know anyone at your local newspaper?
- Don’t focus solely on large publications. Small, focused blogs usually have pretty dedicated followers.
Drafting a press release
- Your press release should stick to the who, what, when, where, why, and hows of your project. Present these clearly and concisely.
- Link to a few high-quality photos. These should be assets that put you and your project front and center.
- Include the essentials: a link to your project page, when you’re planning to launch, your goal and deadline, etc.
- Don’t forget a phone number or email address where you can be reached!
- Reminder: The news is not that you’re launching on Kickstarter, the news is that you’re creating something unique that people should be excited about!
- We love this quote from creator Lisa Lucas (watch the full clip below): “Lead with the most important thing: you need to talk about who you are, what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and why you’re important. And all press is good press!”
Reaching out to press
- Journalists often end articles with an email address or Twitter handle where they can be reached. Be courteous (and not spammy!) when reaching out.
- Respect everyone’s time by reaching out to writers that definitely cover your project’s themes.
- Be relevant. Tailor each message that you send to a journalist or blogger.
- Get ready to be your project’s spokesperson! Exude confidence and excitement in your idea. Try to anticipate any questions that might come your way from the press.
- If you do receive any press coverage, join a podcast, or get a cool mention on social media, share it with your backers! Invite them to celebrate (and share) these successes.
- We scoured Campus while we were writing this post. Here are some of the threads that we consulted. Jump in if you have more advice (or a question) to share.
- There are plenty of press release templates out there. Do your homework and find which format works best for you. If your strategy doesn't work, try changing your messaging or including different images.
- These pointers from Robleh Jama will help you go above and beyond a standard email pitch. Stand out!
- The Next Keyboard team shares how they approached getting press and communicating with their audience.
- There are many services out there that might offer to do this work for you, but this post is part three of a series that teaches you how you can promote and pitch your project on your own. Part one focused on building contact lists and part two was all about developing a communications plan for your project.