How to get covered by Forbes, Huffpost and TechCrunch on a $0 budget

Editors and writers get hundreds of pitches a day. So how do you make yours stand out? Especially when you have little to no experience in the area, are hustling like crazy to get your fledgling business off the ground and have no funds to spare on marketing? Media coverage has been a huge contributor to the success of my fashion brand Issara. Here is how we did it:

 

WHO TO WRITE TO:

1. Create a “media list” based on your target market. Think about where your customers hang out, what they read, what their interests are and pick the blogs, websites, newspapers and magazines accordingly.

2. Identify writers from these publications who are most likely to be interested in your story by browsing said publications. For example we picked out writers whose articles in the past touched on minimal design, ethical fashion, and social enterprises. Find their email address on the contact page, LinkedIn or guess it based on the url structure. It is usually firstnamelastname@ or something along those lines. Use verify-email.org to confirm that the email address exists.

3. Use the Rapportive app (works with gmail to show you a little business card of the person that email address is linked to) to find out more about them so you can tailor your pitch.

4. Sign up to journorequests and sourcebottle: these are daily newsletters listing journalists who want particular stories or bloggers who want to collaborate. I make a point of reading them daily and responding right away to potential story opportunities.

 

WHAT TO WRITE:

1. Know who you’re writing to - name (duh), past articles, topics they like to cover and work this into your first 2 sentences.

2. Pitch a story idea - not just a product or business. What have you learnt in your journey that their audience can benefit from/would be interested in learning?

3. Write about you as an individual, keep it conversational yet polite. Don’t hard sell or use sales-y language. This is not your press release.

4. Keep the email succinct (2-3 paragraphs are sufficient), add one photo in the body (something to capture their attention!) and don’t send large attachments. You want to be respectful. I include my media kit as a dropbox link.

5. Include all contact details including social media links in your email signature.

6. Get their attention on multiple platforms (especially twitter) so they are more likely to open your email and respond. I follow them on twitter and send a quick tweet or DM as soon as I send an email.

 

WHEN TO WRITE:

1. Before lunch on Tuesdays -Thursdays. Mondays and Fridays are too hectic.

2. Consider lead times for print (8-12 weeks) versus online (immediate - 4 weeks). Just get in super early if you're targeting print media.

 

MEDIA KIT CONTENTS:

  1. About your brand (basically the "about us" section of your website)
  2. Information on the founders
  3. High quality lifestyle and product images
  4. Customer reviews, newsworthy facts, press mentions, success stories (keep it brief)
  5. Contact information + social media links

 

GOOD READING:

http://thehustle.co/how-to-write-a-PR-pitch

http://www.sellingtothemasses.com/2013/04/6-tips-for-getting-industry-bloggers-to-review-your-product/

 

That's it! It's not rocket science, but can be a time consuming process. Good luck!

This article was submitted by Rosh Govindaraj - Founder of Issara. Issara works with artisans to produce premium, ethically handcrafted leather goods and have been featured on Forbes, The Fashion Journal, TechCrunch, Tech in Asia and Carryology.