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How do you get THAT much PR?!

I bet you're looking at some of those Kickstarters wondering if they paid a big PR agency to get them all that coverage? Can't figure out how they got on Wired.com, Joystiq.com or any of the other big geek news sites?

Well the good news is YOU can do it. Here's some guidance, it just takes time, and effort. Something a lot of people don't bother with. You might think you know where to promote your project but I can tell you that there are 1000 x times more places than you think there is. - I started the UK's first internet PR agency for video games, then marketed a video games clothing brand for 12 years and finally have had big success with two of my own Kickstarters which helped me launch my own games publishing business Modiphius Entertainment so read on and hope you can use the advice! 

RESEARCH

Okay let's say you're launching a sci-fi book project. First of all look for all the other sci-fi book projects on Kickstarter that were successful and got covered on other news sites. Now use Google to search for their project name. Here's where the work starts. Go to every single site that talked about their project and find their editorial contact, or 'Submit News' page, or contact page. Log it in an excel sheet, with the name of the writer if you can find it, the website address, the contact email or webpage.

Now do the next one, and the next one and keep going..and keep going. Now you should have a hundred or more links or emails, a lot more if it's a big project. Now what? Do it again - choose the next sci-fi book project. Do that all over again. Yes I know you're seeing the same sites, that confirms they're active and usually important. You should be getting other sites that the first project didn't get featured on. Keep going, did I say stop? Now what? Do it again - seriously, you do this 10 times, 20 times....then you have the kick-ass press list for websites talking about cool sci-fi books (or anything else you decided to follow). I said it was going to take time right? 

LAUNCH

If you have a good email database service like www.constantcontact.com or www.mailchimp.com you can then import the emails in to this for when you need to send out press releases BUT STOP! - Websites get endless bland press releases, often with nothing newsworthy in them and they generic, not personal. What you're going to do is take those several hundred contacts and EMAIL THEM PERSONALLY.

Yes, it's going to take all night, I know you had plans, you want to get THAT much PR? Yep it's going to take most of tomorrow, cancel that lunch. Seriously, email every single person using their name, comment on their site or a story they wrote, 'Hi Dave, I saw the great article you wrote on BLAH BLAH BOOK and I thought you'd love to know we've launch this great......' People respond to personal emails more than blanket generic press releases. I usually include the press release below, but a personal message above, something that shows I took the time to consider them. Guaranteed it will get you more results!

Okay I know you can't do this everytime you want to send something, but do it when you have something really important to announce, once people realise you're not just spamming them with useless emails they're more likely to read your generic mailouts. Don't mail them every time you break a stretch goal, they'll be more likely to ignore your mails. Whether it's a personal mail, or a generic email, make sure you're telling them something great - other people and websites can tell you about writing great press releases but it needs to get an 'oh wow really! reaction not 'yeah so you're adding this little feature...sigh' Ask someone who's not a mate whether they think it's REALLY interesting. 

Remember to keep a track of who replied and was more interested. Some people might want a review copy - give it to them in digital form of course - every review is more traffic.If you have physical products consider whether the site has a lot of traffic, if a youtube page is it hundreds or 1000's of viewers. You can't send free product to everyone who says they'll talk about. Here's where your research comes in handy - where did those other projects get reviewed - target these people. Keep a track of who is responding to you - make a point of emailing them personally always as they've taken an interest in you, cultivate the relationship.

That's what good PR is about. It's not about who has the most email addresses, it's who has great relationships with people who write about products, and when you email something out people take notice and want to support you. Dont stop! Yes remember I said it took a lot of work. If you ever think you've done enough, you haven't. If you want that stellar success you have to keep working - often during a project I'll be online till 3am sending personal replies, replying to comments and queries, dreaming up a new press release and making sure we have the cool images or graphics to go with it. Then you're up early dealing with more replies.

It never stops, but a successful project is the reward for all those hours you've put in, seeing your vision become reality, seeing all those people believe in you more than makes up for the long hours working away.

I hope this helps! Chris Birch, Achtung! Cthulhu Kickstarter, Mutant Chronicles Kickstarter

Chris Birch, Modiphius Last edited on
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Stephanie Pereira
54
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Hey everyone -- Stephanie from Kickstarter here. We just posted a whole slew of new videos from workshops and talks we have hosted here at Kickstarter HQ over the past year on the Advice playlist on our YouTube Channel. 

There are two short video clips that made me think of this excellent conversation in particular -- linking to them below. Hope its insightful!

1) In this video clip, early entrepreneur Kit Hickey from Ministry of Supply talks about how they built their PR list before they launched their campaign, and how they pivoted once they went live.

2) In this video clip, Heather Delaney from Dynamo PR (has worked on numerous Kickstarter campaigns), shares some very sound strategies for getting and working with press.

(Chris Birch: If you are still reading, check them out -- Love your take on this advice!)

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ZacBob - CrowdFund Genius
16
Answered on

YUP! Thats how its done thanks Chris. I might add that while your doing the research and looking at all these articles about campaigns in your niche. Dont forget to comment, bloggers and writers notice when you comment on their blog posts. Take it a step further by not only looking up their email, but look up their twitter. And share that same article via twitter mentioning the blogger in the tweet so they know it came from you. That way later on their more inclined to help you out when your campaign goes live. 

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Dane Brown
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I am anxious to launched my project, but I am restraining myself until I do everything I possible can to make it a success. I did noticed that most projects that were successfully funded have some PR work involved. It is my quest to learn as much as I can about PR with the hope of taking advantage of its power that causes me to be here. Thank you Chris for this lovely article. I started doing something similar to what you suggest. I was about to omit the PR portion of my project, however reading your article has encourage me to continue.

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Matt and Lani Wilson
Creator
4
Answered on

Ok, whew! Chris, You have helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel (I tend to be claustrophobic) This is awesome advice.  I have been spammed by over 30 companies in the first 3 days after launching about hiring them to promote my kickstarter campaign. Whom does one choose, if any?   I have become a little neurotic... ok a lot neurotic about our campaign and my anxiety is through the roof on making sure I do the best damn job I can to get the word out about our amazing gluten free snack food product made from quinoa.  I am now confident that through your advice that I can do the research myself and be our own PR. (a few drinks at 3am is ok, right?!

Lani

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Playing Grounded Puzzles
4-time creator
3
Answered on

Thanks so much for that article, Chris. We're planning to launch our Kickstarter in August and we've only just begun trying to build our PR. I definitely agree with giving it that personal touch. I've been having a back and forth with 3 journalists and editors in the industry and I have to say that it's amazing. They have been so enthusiastic and supportive that it's motivated us even more.They immediately asked to interview us and feature our project on their website. We're doing something a little different, but we're working with other successful veteran Kickstarters, so turning to those who did PR on their projects is great advice. Seems we have a lot more work and late nights ahead of us! Thanks to everyone else who wrote additional comments. I love reading about other peoples' experiences.

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Trevor Lehmann
2-time creator
48
Answered on

What a great article Chris. Thank you for sharing. Another trick is to drag an image from the project page into the google image search bar and it will search for all sites with that image.

All the best!

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Victoria Road
Creator
2
Answered on

Hi all, I very much appreciated Chris' and others' comments here about the personalized touch getting good PR.  We were drawn to that strategy from a common-sense standpoint, and that is exactly how we landed all of our actual PR for our project, which successfully funded December 4.  However, in the first week of the project, we panicked and threw some money at a PR firm called "Turnkey PR" in an attempt to widen our reach to press outlets in what seemed like an intelligent way from their sales pitch. Unfortunately, this was a $500 mistake we shouldn't have made. I wish I had read John Wrot's advice below to ignore the PR agencies that contact you.  I'm happy to answer anyone's questions about my experience with this particular firm offline. Best of luck, everyone!

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Dale Rorabaugh
13-time creator
5
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I like the way you just keep on talking...you kept me reading.  And, yes everything you said is true.  Once you have a campaign going, it does control your every day life and night.  Thanks for the post!

We're getting ready to launch our next project and have already begun our PR.  Take a huge amount of time but the personal touch of doing it yourself works most of the time.

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Brenden Brunnette
Creator
1
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Thanks for the info!  

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Daniel Seth Lubiner
6-time creator
1
Answered on

Very well stated THANKS!

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ML Hart
1
Answered on

Thanks for taking the time to share this amazing detail. It's pretty much the general path I was on, but you've given me A LOT more to work with. My project won't launch until around March or April of 2017, but clearly there's a lot of work to do. Much appreciated!

- Martha

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Greg Sudderth
1
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Thanks to advice from ZacBob, I completely tossed my video script, and turned it 110 degrees to port, with totally different emphasis!  The phrase "I never thought of that" was getting kind of tired.  I appreciate you ZacBob!  Chris!  Thanks for the article: its both disheartening that one would have to run what basically amounts to an election, but the good news is, hey, there's a lot of guidelines from fiction to actual election information to follow!  Press releases are going to be ready day-of, that's for sure.  Thanks again for the great article!

p.s. I hope I have more than three backers, such that EMAILING THEM PERSONALLY was actually a nightmare ;) !!!

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Jim Brodie
Creator
1
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Hi Chris--I have been approached by " byandmain.com " who offer a marketing package for my project at a cost.  They say they can expose me to thousands of press people, Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.
Do you know if these type of services are worth the money?
Given my time is limited and my project is already launched it seems a good option but only if it works.

Thanks
Jim

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QUESTRON
2-time creator
1
Answered on

It helped me a lot! THanks Chris!

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Doug Monahan
Creator
55
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I recommend checking out www.newswire.com - (no i dont work there or get paid to say this) - They are very professional, have a great way to get the word out - and are quite cost effective. They've been able to garner news at television, radio, magazine - you name it and I've been able to get it for my campaign - and I'm not even launched yet.

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Kaytlin
0
Answered on

I love this post and plan to do all the above for my launch in about 2 months. so first and foremost, THANK YOU! 

My question is, how early should I start reaching out to publications, blogs, etc. I know it is best to have lots of hype surrounding the launch, but how early/late should I start contacting people on my press list prior to launch? (This seems like such a simple question but I can't seem to find an answer!)

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Firewalla LLC
Creator
6
Answered on

Before launch we did find some people to help with PR, something like helping us to do more signups to our mailing list.   And in the end, we did go with one professional team, which is very costly.  And the amazing thing was, after all the preparation, the PR company backed out and return the money 4 days before launch.  We almost cried ... 

We decided to launch any way.   It was a hard decision.  So we did.  The mailing list did help a lot, and it is still helping.  (Best money we have spend to drive sign ups early). 

Within a day we were able to get coverage from geeky-gadgets http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/firewalla-home-cyber-security-solution-28-06-2017/ and a few other places... 

So luck is at play, and prepare early to get supporters. 

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MIPOW USA
11-time creator
0
Answered on

Thank you Chris! Read this article more than once. It does help!

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Nishant Tomar
Creator
0
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Chris,

Thank you so much for this detailed article on how to get the PR. I just launched my very first crowdfunding campaign with Kickstarter - http://kck.st/2M4Gq1X - which is for my startup company (DigsFact) with a Go Live date of July 31, 2018. DigsFact will offer information related to any major work done on homes (roofing, basement, remodeling, etc), which may impact the price of a house, and hence will be very beneficial to home buyers and sellers. Just like people look at a carfax report before buying a used car, they will now be able to look at DigsFact report on used houses.

Right after i posted my crowdfunding campaign on kickstarter, I started getting tons of spams instantly about how these companies can help me get all the PR in the world. I am glad I read your article before paying any of them. It does take time but what you have suggested is definitely the right way to go about it.

Thanks,

Nishant.

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Wyatt Corya akridge
2-time creator
0
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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1332260686/finger-sheath?ref=user_menu  I don’t understand, I get 1 pledge for a dollar and others get thousands?! 

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Liang Kong
0
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Hello, Chris. I will launch a new project and really need a PR with reasonable price to help us spread the words. Do you know someone?

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