PR Do’s and Dont’s for startups

Today I had the chance to spend my lunch with the awesome people from Appsterdam. One of the best communities that helps and supports people who want to build great Apps. I was there to help Startups with some useful tips on how to get awareness for their product. Basically the “Do’s” and “Dont’s” of PR.

The PR Dont’s for Startups:

Don’t get coverage too early. If your product isn’t ready then don’t get people to write about it. Journalists, potential users and most definitely bloggers will want to try your product or service. If it’s not ready yet, wait for it to be ready and wow everyone that uses it. You only get one chance to make a first impression, make it a good one. 

Don’t spam journalists. Quality is indeed better than quantity, especially in the case of reaching out the journalists and bloggers. They receive “spam” all day, and would love to get “news” that interests them for a change. So avoid emailing 5000 journalists . No one will read your email and it will get you a bad reputation amongst journalists.

Don’t rely on word-of-mouth. It is a great way of promoting your startup, however you should not rely on it. Just because you wrote an interesting blog post, that does not mean someone will write about you. Its hard to measure it, and therefore too unpredictable to be your main resource.

Don’t push a story that’s not news. Most of the time journalists get sent stories that are not news, if its something that’s not interesting for their readers then its not news according to them.

Don’t make it a commercial story. Most journalists want an interesting story for their readers, not a sales pitch. Stay away from any inclination towards looking like a sales brochure.

The PR Do’s for Startups:

Do form relationships with journalists. PR is all about Personal Relations. It’s much better to get to know the journalists or bloggers that will write about your product. Do your research, and even become a source for them if possible. Then, when the time comes to write about your startup they would already know you and trust you enough to write a great article about your startup.

Do write it if was an actual article. The more time you put into writing a good press release the better its chance to accurately represent your startup. There are journalists/bloggers out there that will not take the time to write an entire article from scratch, so if you give them well written material they can just copy-paste it. This way you’ve made their life easier, and ensured that the right information about your startup gets promoted.

Do make journalists and bloggers feel special. Its important that you can give the journalists something special. If everyone has already written about your startup then why should they? You should give your favourite journalists early access to your story under Embargo, and be honest with them – who else is is in the embargo.

Do invest time in PR consistently. It’s all about doing this consistently, during the lifetime of your company there are most definitely more newsworthy stories than just launch and acquisition. There are always cool things that you are doing that should be interesting for people out there. Keep the buzz going and avoid fading into the background. It is also essential to keep the FAQs, images, Presskits and other press related material up-to date.

Do show it when people love your product or service. If you have a great product that people love and care about then let them know. Journalists like to write about companies that people are raving about. So show off those customers, quote them – that makes a great story, and we all love great stories!

What are you waiting for? Sign up today and start promoting your brand!

Here is the presentation:

PR do’s and dont’s for startups from PressDoc
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Sending better emails using PressList

More and more customers start using PressList to distribute their press releases. To make creating great emails easier we made some improvements to how you compose an email. Starting today it is possible to use some simple markup (headers, bold, italic, underline and links) in your emails.

email_compose

Go check it out and let us know or you like it. On top of these changes we also tweaked how we show the results of an email campaign. An “unopened” tab is added to the results page. Giving you a quick overview of the email that are still unopened and on which you might want to follow up.

We are still looking for some testers to test even more advanced email options, send an email to Dennis to get on the list.

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Adding русский to PressDoc

Thanks to the friendly guys from Dscoop we are adding a Russian translation to PressDoc today. You can now set the language of your PressRoom or PressDoc to Russian.

The language of your PressRoom can be changed on the Basic Information tab of the settings page.

To change the language of a PressDoc to Russian, see the screenshot below.

Change the language of your PressDoc to Russian

Change the language of your PressDoc to Russian

We will be adding some more lanuage related changes in the near future so make sure to stay tuned.

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Introducing the Media Library

Back in 1911 Arthur Brisbane spoke wise words when he coined the phrase “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” It is fair to say that this still holds and on top of images we now have the power to use moving images and sounds to enhance our story.

Since the start of PressDoc adding these items has been an important part of our product. Over the last couple of months we spoke to a bunch of people about this part of PressDoc. Most of them used it and one of them told us: “Just try adding 69 images to a PressDoc”. After the meeting we were back in the office and tried adding that many images. At that moment we realised we needed to change something, handling a lot of images was a nightmare.

Today we launch a new and improved Media Library. Since we do believe a picture is worth a thousand word, check the following screenshots about what has changed, or just give it a try.

Media library overview

Manage your images, videos, sounds and documents one single page. Look for the “Media Library” tab on your PressRoom page.

Upload up to 12 files at once. Uploading is now up to 10 times faster as before.

Upload up to 12 files at once. Uploading is now up to 10 times faster as before.

Keep track of what is happening in the background.

Keep track of what is happening in the background.

Click the image label to quickly update the description. Just press enter to save the changes.

Click the image label to quickly update the description. Just press enter to save the changes.

Easily add items to your PressDoc. We got rid of the small thumbnails and replaced them with big ones, so you can really see what you are adding to your PressDoc.

Easily add items to your PressDoc. We got rid of the small thumbnails and replaced them with big ones, so you can really see what you are adding to your PressDoc.

We hope you like it as much as we do. Let us know what you think!

PS: Thanks to the awesome people at Grayling for the feedback and allowing us to use their images.

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Presslist just got a whole lot better

Over the last few months you gave us a lot of feedback on PressList. Most of it was positive and some more critical. One of the things we were told a number of times was that managing your contacts could be improved. So we listened, developed and improved Presslist.

To make managing the contacts in your Presslist easier you can now create multiple Presslists (try to say that real quick ten times). The contacts you have can be added to one or more Presslists. Giving you an easy way to group and manage your contacts.

The more the merrier, so you can also share your Presslist with other people. Once you share a Presslist with a coworker or friend, he/she can use the contacts on it for distribution. Don’t feel like sharing? Totally fine with us.

Create a Presslist

Find the Presslist tab on your dashboard. For users who already had contacts in the past we already created a group called “My Contacts”. In it you will find all contacts you created earlier.

Overview of your Presslists

Click to zoom

Add contacts to a Presslist

There are two ways to add a contact to a Presslist:

1. Import new contacts straight into a Presslist. Works exactly the same as importing before with the only difference that you now import contacts into a Presslist. Look for the “Import contacts” tab on your Presslist page.

2. Add them from an other Presslist. While in an other Presslist select 1 or more contacts and use the “Add to group” feature to add them to one of your Presslists.

Presslist overview

Click to zoom

Using Presslists to distribute your news

Distributing your news using Presslist is easy and effective. There are two small changes to the distribution screen.

1. Filter by Presslist
Instead of seeing all your contacts you can filter by Presslist. Use the dropdown next to the search bar to filter.

 

Filter contacts based on Presslist

Click to zoom

2. See contact details
Use the little eye next to a contact to quickly see more details and basic stats about how engaged they are with your previous emails.

send_emails_preview

We hope you like our improvements, let us know if you have any questions.

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PressList updated with a new Compose window and an editable sender

Ever since we introduced PressList it is under constant improvement. Today we introduced some new stuff we hope you’ll like.

Editable sender
We made the sender adjustable for every message. Just edit the name and email address and we’ll use those to send your message. An example use-case would be when you want to switch between your personal address and your regular company address.

Editable sender

A new Compose window
To fit this, plus all the other stuff we recently introduced, into one elegant screen we also improved the Compose window. It is a lot bigger and cleaner than the old one. Check out what the new Compose window looks like:

New compose window

 

 

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Design updated on PressDoc and PressRoom pages

You might have already noticed that we updated the design on the PressDoc and PressRoom pages. Since a picture or webpage is worth a 1000 (or more) words we would like to show you the new design.

New PressDoc PR contacts sidebar Bigger previews of the images you upload

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Why does GLOG home like Pressdoc?

Could you build yourself a house? We think you could!

That is exactly what our company, gloghome.com, does – we design houses and house building plans so more people could build their homes by themselves. In terms of human history, using high cost contractors is a relevantly new trend – all our ancestors built their own homes, so why don’t we?

Our paths crossed with PressDoc’s (PD) when we were searching for someone to distribute our message to a wider audience and help us manage press releases more easily. In addition, one of the members of our team had previously used PD himself so we decided to give it a try. And a good decision it was.

Besides PD’s contemporary design, the tool was relatively easy to use. And even though the setting up of the sub-account or “pressroom”, as PD calls it, took some time, it eventually paid off. Integration with and to social media was a breeze. In addition, PD themselves published our messages in their social media channels.

I most enjoyed the PD’s personal approach. Shortly after registering, for example, I received an (non-automated) email from a representative of PD asking if everything was okay – in the era of Internet business such personal approach is not very common. So in terms of recommendation: I definitely do!

When our trial at PD ended, I got a Skype call from a guy called Victor. He asked me about my general thoughts about PD and wanted to know how I was satisfied with them. Besides having a really constructive conversation about press releases tools in general, he made a lot of notes and hopefully, when our company is big enough to use the full potential of PD, the updates will already be there.

The guest blogger, George Zhordania is Head of Sales at gloghome.com – professional building plans for the non-professional builders. Solid 10 years of experience in client relations and communication. Glog Home tweets under the @gloghome handle.

 

 

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The PressDoc Pitch: Episode 5 – The Bad Pitch

As we have learned so far in our series, bad media pitching not only does not get you covered, but can also ruin a potential relation with a journalist or blogger. For this episode of “The Good, the Bad and the PressDoc Pitch” we thought we delve deeper into the ‘bad pitch’ subject with an expert on the matter. Kevin Dugan, journalist and PR expert, gathers on his Bad Pitch Blog some of the worst examples of bad media relations for educational purposes. We talked to him on how to prevent starring on his blog.

- From your experience, which email pitches do journalists pay attention to, and what makes them read the press release?
Pitching success boils down to relevance. In fact, the list is more important than the pitch. If it’s relevant? It can be long. It can have large attachments. I don’t care because I’m focused on the relevant content and not how it was packaged.
How often is it relevant? Rarely.
Unfortunately, everyone seems to spend hours crafting the pitch and minutes creating the list. It should be the opposite. Online audience identification tools are used for scale instead of for accuracy and insight. And this assumes someone is creating a pitch in the first place. Far too many publicists just send a news release. But the release isn’t the pitch, it supports the pitch. It’s background. When I only get a news release? I know it’s a mass pitch. That makes it 10 times less likely I will read that email.

“In fact, the list is more important than the pitch.”

- What’s your advice to people new to pitching on how to effectively pitch journalists?
The more time you spend building the list and using it to inform your pitch, the better. If more time is spent by a person than a machine on the list, it will increase the pitch’s effectiveness. In fact, I am willing to bet that if the entire media relations industry did this, the industry could pitch half as many people and earn more coverage. Currently, I’m convinced there are publicists that do keyword searches on an online media database. And without reviewing the results to even note if there are duplicate contacts, they send the entire list a news release.

- Can you recall some of the worst pitches you ever received or heard of?
One of my favorite bad pitches was one of the first sent to the Bad Pitch blog. It was so bad, Gawker picked it up. Someone was so in love with alliteration, they tied their news to a hurricane and the title of a porn movie. Um, they’re a data recovery service.

naked-gun-facepalm

- What are you thoughts on personalized email pitches versus mass press release distribution services?
A couple of thoughts on this topic. First and most importantly, accuracy and relevance wins over scale every time as far as I’m concerned. As far as only sending out a press release, would you only send out a resume if you were looking for a job?
A press release is not a pitch. I know some find success with mass email pitches. But I think it really depends on the type of news. As soon as I get a pitch and it starts with “Hi,” or “Dear Editor/Blogger” it really doesn’t matter what the pitch is about. Since I know it’s a mass email, I’ve already assumed it’s off target. And 99 times out of 100? I’m right.

“First and most importantly, accuracy and relevance wins over scale every time.”

Kevin Dugan is the co-author of the Bad Pitch Blog, winner of an Award of Commendation in the Blog category from the Public Relations Society of America and a listed member of the AdAge “Power 150“. He tweets under the @prblog and @badpitch handles.
This Q&A was first published as a guest post by our friends at PRNewser.

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PressList update: you can now send a test email

A couple of weeks ago we introduced PressList, making distribution of your PressDoc to your contacts easy. Since the launch we received a lot of feedback, thanks for that. A lot of our users wanted the option to send a test email to themselves before sending out the email to their contacts.

We listened and build this for you. You can now send a test email to yourself to check the links and the layout of the email you will send to your PressList. You will find the test email feature on the bottom left of the email compose window. Click the button to send a test email to the email address you use to login.

Send yourself a test email with PressList

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