Media Relations Tips from the “Other Side”

Here at Kaplow, we have the benefit of being on both coasts at the same time – we have offices in NYC and San Francisco!

Tammy Lam from our SF office was able to attend a recent PR panel for start-ups and small businesses. The tips she shared from one panelist, Eric Savitz, San Francisco Bureau Chief of Forbes, are best practices for ALL companies and PR pros, not just start-ups.

Brush up on your media relations know-how with the below insights:

  • Always be on the top of your game – Journalists are often asked to, and do, refer companies to PR firms that they respect.
  • Look at the lifecycle of your company – Are you still in beta? Did you just secure a fresh round of funding? Leverage each new stage to secure press in the right outlets.
  • Do not overreach – Know the limitaitons of your products/company. It’s called public relations – dont pitch a WSJ-type publication unless it’s ready for public scrutiny.
  • Customer stories are great – Customer stories are even better if your customers are exponentially bigger than you and you can demonstrate/quantify the value you provided to them.
  • Pick a face for your company – It doesn’t have to be the CEO – it could be your head engineer or the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), but pick someone who has the charisma and personality that personifies your company. Sometimes a big personality and a willingness to have an opinion are memorable enough to secure a story, where a product may not be.
  • Do not blast pitches out to hundreds of people – You will not get a response. Take the time to pare your lists down to the key influencers who will make a difference in what your company is trying to achieve and personalize your pitch to what they have been writing about.
  • Reporters won’t write the same story twice – Give them a new angle. It’s not enough to say: “Noticed you covered XX company, we do that too, will you cover us?” Tell the reporter why you’re DIFFERENT and whether you solved a problem with a different approach.
  • Craft the subject line with a personal touch – Some of the best subject lines to get reporters to open an email are: “Saw your fabulous XX story” or “Disagreed/Agreed with your XX story.”
  • Do not follow up every other day – It takes up the reporter’s time to answer you, when they could be reviewing your email. Give them about 3-4 days to look things over before following up.

What other media relations tips have you learned throughout your career? Please share additional tips and advice in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *