Pitch angle: your personal story (your background and how you got to where you are today)
❶ Saw on Twitter you're writing an article about the extremes some entrepreneurs go through to bootstrap their startups.
❷ I have a good story for you. I actually slept in my car while I was pitching investors.
My gamble (and less frequent showers!) paid off. I secured a $100K lifeline, giving my company enough runway to takeoff.
❸ Happy to provide a few insights with your audience about how to decide if a big sacrifice like this is worth it.
❹ Let me know if this sounds interesting? Can provide more details to flesh out the story.
❶ Follow journalists that cover beats related to your company on social media. When they're working on new stories, many of them ask their followers if they know anyone with relevant stories.
❷ Focusing on the most interesting details, provide a brief overview of your personal story.
❸ Offer to provide more unique insights to their audience related to your personal story.
❹ Ask if they're interested in your story and offer to provide more details to tease them into replying.
Pitch angle: you released a major new product feature
❶ Really enjoyed your recent article about LinkedIn! Many people definitely overlook their own networks when getting the word out about their new companies.
❷ Also wanted to share some exciting news: Chaat is releasing a new feature that will let users turn their faces and reactions into stylized animated gifs they can use in any chat conversation:
❸ One angle that may be interesting to explore: would custom reaction gifs help avoid some misunderstandings since it can be hard to convey tone with text and a limited range of standard emojis?
❶ Provide a genuine comment about a recent article they wrote.
❷ Briefly explain one existing new feature your company is releasing soon.
❸ Provide the journalist with an interesting angle related to this new feature so it is easier for them see your story's potential.
Pitch angle: your product achieved a major milestone
❶ Thanks for helping us stay one step ahead of the fast moving tech landscape!
❷ Also wanted to share an exciting milestone: Songkick just hit $10 million active users and $100 million in ticket revenue.
❸ Possible angle:
This shows that music fans are willing to support their favorite artists and artists can use streaming services to build a passionate fan base and sell their merchandise and concerts to make a living.
Let me know if this story would be a good fit for your audience?
❶ Provide a meaningful comment about the journalist's work to build rapport.
❷ Share an exciting milestone that your company hit.
❸ Provide a story angle such as what this milestone means for your industry at large so the journalist can see its potential.
Pitch angle you launched an innovative product or service
❶ Thank you for your nuanced explanations of recent STEM breakthroughs!
❷ I wanted to share another breakthrough you may find interesting:
I recently created an algorithm that helps police narrow down where serial killers live by calculating distances between the locations of their crimes. It assigns the highest probability percentages to areas where the serial killer most likely lives or hangs out.
❸ I can provide details about which serial killers Eye has helped police track down and how it can be used for other types of investigations like narrowing down the hiding places of hostages.
❹ Let me know if this would be a good fit for your audience?.
❶ Provide a meaningful comment about their work to build rapport.
❷ In simple terms, explain what your product does and one of its most important or interesting use cases.
❸ Mention additional interesting details and use cases you can provide to entice the journalist to reply.
❹ Ask them if your product would be a good fit to open the conversation.
How to pitch your product within the context of broader social or cultural topics it's related to
❶ I've been following your articles for a while - very cutting cultural analyses. Loved your recent one about eating insects as a substitute for meat protein. All it needs is an image makeover to overcome the ick factor.
❷ Wanted you to introduce you to something we recently launched: Elixir is a food substitute that provides 2600 healthy calories a day. Drinkers stay consistently energetic having only this a few times a day.
Step 1: blend with water or milk.
Step 2: Drink up and feel full.
❷ Interesting angle to explore:
Elixir and productivity because you don't have to stop what you're doing to get or prepare food.
Elixir and saving money, since it's significantly cheaper than groceries
Elixir and its popularity among life hackers and students.
Let me know if this sounds interesting?
Can provide more details such as how we invented it and its full nutritional profile.
❶ Provide a meaningful comment about the journalist's work and one of their specific articles.
❷ Briefly explain what your product does and its most important or interesting benefit.
❷ List a few interesting social or cultural topics your product is related to or raises questions about so the journalist can see its story potential.
How to pitch to local press first, then climb up the press totem poleIt is much easier to get featured in a local publication first because the news of your launch can be relevant for your city. Also, journalists for national outlets often scour local news for emerging stories so they may come across yours and write about it too.
❶ Thank you for your scoops about what's new and interesting around the city!
❷ Wanted to share a new launch in San Francisco with you:
Ever been stuck at work and you're craving your favorite grilled avocado tacos?
Ever been reclined on your couch and you're craving Szechuan fish soup?
But the snag, these places don't deliver?
❷ Yum works with a team of bike couriers who can pick up your order from any restaurant in the city and deliver it directly to your home or office within 45 minutes.
[2-3 screenshots of the product or app]
❹ Let me know if this sounds interesting?
❶ Give a genuine compliment about the journalist's work.
❷ Briefly explain what you launched by storytelling a few relatable scenarios in which your product or service would be used.
❸ Provide an additional key detail about how it works.
❹ Ask them for their thoughts to open the conversation.
How BillFixers got featured in Bloomberg Businessweek after pitching their local newspaperJulian 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.
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:
to The Tennessean
So far, BillFixers has saved more than 100 customers close to $35,000 in cable bills since incorporating in early July.
Their biggest customer savings came from a startup based in California. The company had a $1,500/month bill with AT&T, and BillFixers reduced their bill to $750/month in just a few hours. Over the course of a year, that's $9,000 in savings.
Another customer was paying just $54.95 for internet from Comcast, but BillFixers was able to help them get 4 months of service for free. In following bills, this customer will only pay $14.99/month for the same level of service.
Customers can securely upload their cable bills to the BillFixers website (www.billfixers.com) and just provide their name and address, for BillFixers will to call the customers cable provider to negotiate a better deal.
In addition to lower rates, customers have also enjoyed increased service to networks like HBO and Showtime.
BillFixers was founded by two Nashvillians, Julian and Ben Kurland. Julian is also enrolled in law school at Notre Dame, and Ben is a graphic design student at Tufts in Chicago.
How to share a valuable resource with a journalist to build a relationshipFor journalists who write for top tier publications, it may be worth your time to build a relationship with them beforehand so they're more likely to 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.
When you stumble across an interesting relevant resource, share it with the journalist.
How to pitch a landing page or resource related to your productUnless your product incredibly interesting or innovative, it can be an uphill battle to get featured by press. While you can't make your product more sexy, you can create a landing page or resource that shares interesting stories, data or content related to your product and pitch that instead.
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.
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 them'.
❶ Thank you for keeping us on top of emerging beauty and style trends before they're everywhere. :)
❷ Wanted to share something interesting with you:
After pouring over hundreds of archives and old magazines, we put together a page showing the most popular makeup looks from the past 10 decades. With videos on how to recreate each look:
[screenshot of the most visually interesting part of the page]
❸ Let me know if this looks interesting?
❶ Mention why you find their work valuable to compliment them.
❷ Briefly explain the interesting resource or content you created. Attach a screenshot to visually show them what it looks like to pique their interest.
❸ Ask for their thoughts about it to open the conversation.