10 Compelling Pitch Angles to Land Press Coverage

Your personal story Exciting new product feature Hit important milestone Innovative product Interesting data or patterns from user behavior Pitch your product within the context of a broader issue or trend it's related to Pitch an embeddable product: ask journalist or influencer to use in their article Pitch a local publications first Share tip with journalist -> build relationship Pitch a landing page or resource related to your product

Pitch your personal story: your background and what inspired you to create this company

Got a good story for your article about the extremes entrepreneurs go (involves not showering much)

Follow a journalist with beat relevant to your company on social media. When they're preparing for a story, a lot of them questions to their followers.

Explain in one sentence your relevant interesting personal story.

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You released a new major feature

[Exclusive] Exciting new feature at Whatsapp

Compliment them - explain why one of their articles was great.

Explain in one jargon free sentence one exciting product feature you just rolled out.

If you provide the journalist with an interesting angle, it is easier for them see your story's potential.

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You hit a major milestone + ramifications for the rest of your industry

[Milestone scoop] We just hit 10M users

Compliment the author and provide a meaningful comment on one of their recent articles or tweets.

Explain the significance the milestone numbers you recently hit - what does this mean for your industry?

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Mention where you came across this prospect and use the topic they commented on to open the conversation.

Provide them valuable lesser known insights related to the topic they commented on and the services you provide.

Mention a specific result you achieved for a client to intrigue them into asking for more details.

You launched an innovative product or service

[Just launched] Our software tracks serial killers

Explain in layman terms what your product does.

List the impact, achievements and/or applications of your product.

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Interesting data/patterns/trends you've observed from user behaviors

Juicy data about radical bias in dating preferences - interested?

Summarize your data, leading with the juiciest observation.

Show the journalists some interesting angles they can explore with this data.

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Your company touches upon interesting issues in the society at large

How our product plans to replace food

Summarize what you do powerfully. Use one or two hard hitting data points.

Explain what broader social/cultural issues your product touches upon.

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Embeddable product? Ask a journalist or influencer to use it in their article

This one only works for products that can be embedded into articles.

Jazzing up your treasure trove of data

Explain how using your tool will improve their existing content.

Show can they can use your product themselves.

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Pitch to your local press first -> climb up the press totem pole

It is much easier to break into a local publication because just the mere event of your launch can be relevant for the city and considered news. Also, journalists for national media outlets often scour local news for juicy stories so they may come across yours and put you in front of a much bigger audience.

[Just launched in City] Get food from anywhere delivered to you

Compliment one of their specific articles.

Explain what you launched in this city through setting up a hypothetical scenario where someone would use your product/service. Likely real life situations are much easier to relate to.

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Successful pitch to a local newspaper -> leads to feature in Bloomberg Businessweek

Julian Kurland from BillFixers (they negotiate discounts on monthly bills for their customers) first pitched their story a local newspaper, the Tennessean. After that story went up, a Bloomberg journalist noticed it and asked them for an interview. This got published in Bloomberg's print edition and online site. The result? A 4000% spike in traffic.

BillFixers got featured in Bloomberg Businessweek after a journalist read about them in the local newspaper

When Julian first pitched the Tennessean, he asked a friend who works in PR to intro him to an editor so they were able to jump straight into their pitch in the email. Another important lesson? That journalist liked their story but it got pushed to the backburner due to some shakeups in their company. So Julian reached out again to remind her about BillFixers. Here's the pitch Julian used:

Original press pitch email for service company: BillFixers

Share valuable resource with journalist -> build a relationship

For major publication journalists who are inundated with pitches, it may be worth your time to build a relationship with them beforehand to make it more likely they'll consider your pitch when the time comes. Look up a few of their recent articles to see what topics they cover. Pull up their social media profiles to get a sense of their interests. Then keep this info in the back of your mind.

When you stumble across an interesting resource that hasn't already been posted everywhere dozens of times relevant to the journalist's beat or interest, send it to them. Example: maybe you're browsing a forum and you come across leaked financials from a company of interest. Screencap it and share it with the journalist (before the original file possibly gets deleted).

You may find this interesting [rare survey on emotional reactions to market changes]

One sentence meaningful comment explaining what valuable insight you extracted from one of their recent articles.

Summarize the importance of the resource you're about to share with them. This convinces the journalist your resource is worth their time and to actually take a look (journalists are very busy and only check out a few links they're sent).

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Pitch a landing page or resource related to your product

Unless your product interesting or innvoative in of itself, it's can be an uphill battle to pitch journalist with "My company does XYZ, wanna feature me?" But while you can't make your product more sexy, you can create a landing page or resource that shares interesting stories, data and/or content related to your product and pitch that instead.

Create a landing page or resource that shares stories, data and/or content related to your product

Here's an example of a landing page Blueair, a company that makes air purifiers, created to show the quality of the air you're currently breathing. It would be easier to pitch this interactive page than the product itself.

Some landing page ideas:

  • If you're a music streaming site, you can create a landing page called Where is the Love? featuring the least played songs.
  • If you're a makeup subscription site, you can create a landing page called Popular Makeup Looks Throughout History - Tutorials on How to Recreate Each.

Recreating the most popular looks from each decade of the previous 50

Compliment them on why you find their writing valuable.

Explain why the landing page / resource would be interesting to them and briefly describe what it is. Include a screenshot of its most interesting part to entice them to open it.

In your initial email, you can simply ask them for their thoughts on your landing page / resource. In between the lines, it's implied "if you find this interesting, you're welcome to write about it". You can make a more explicit ask in a follow up email if they respond saying they like/love it.

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Embeddable product? Ask the journalist to use it in their articles

This one only works for products that can be embedded into articles.

Jazzing up your treasure trove of data

Explain how using your tool will improve their existing content.

Show can they can use your product themselves.

Download a step by step cold email guide

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How press coverage can kick off your explosive growth

Your business cards still have that hot off the press smell. Your website is what your developer calls "pixel perfect". Your business is ready to be shown to the world!

But no one is coming.

Alternate ending. You get 89% of your funding target within 24 hours of launch. How? Pitching to the media. Sphericam achieved that after getting featured in Techcrunch and Boing Boing. And you can too.

How journalists prefer to receive pitches

The good news is, according to Fractl, 81% of journalists prefer email pitches. The bad news is, the average journalist gets 300 pitches a day. How do you stand out?

The launch of your website/business/blog/preorder signup page is not news. Journalists serve their readers. And want do their readers want? Interesting stories on topics they care about.

Building relationships

Feed scoops and tips to journalists

Look up an author profile to see what topics they typically over. For example Lolly Daskal regularly publishes articles about productivity on Inc.com.

Lolly Daskal article topics

Go to popular sites with user submitted content and pop their topic into the search. It is much easier to find great insights on discussion forums since some users share the best ideas they know or heard about, thereby doing the thinking and researching process for you. I searched for "productivity" on Reddit and came across this gem in a popular thread:

Reddit thread on productivity

Email the journalist, compliment them on their work and ask if you they have come across the valuable insight you discovered. Describe it to them by framing it as potentially useful for a future article.

Answer their questions on Twitter

Many journalists and authors ask questions on Twitter when they are in the process of writing stories. Create a list for every journalist you follow so you can monitor all their tweets in one place. When they ask a question you can offer a meaningful answer to, write back. After a few times, they will start to recognize your name. And it will be easier for you to introduce yourself when you send your first email to the journalist.

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