The hashtag #journorequest on Twitter can be a great way to link up with journalists and bloggers looking for experts or companies to feature in their stories. It can be a brilliant way to get free publicity for your business, and is worth checking on a regular basis.
A few weeks ago I posted a #journorequest on Twitter myself, asking for female entrepreneurs with interesting stories to appear on our new podcast. I was inundated with emails – over 500 in fact. But one thing I noticed was how many women didn’t know how to pitch their business effectively.
There are a number of reasons for that. For a start, we’re British, and taught to hide our light under bushels! Secondly, we’re women – and we don’t like to come across arrogant or braggy. But there is a time and a place for being confident, and this is one of those times!
So how can you best pitch your business to a journalist?
Refine your business story
First of all – what is the interesting part of your business story. Why did you start it? What was your interest in the topic? What was the pain point you were trying to solve? What is the part of your business story that people are most interested in, when you talk about it outside of work. What is your ‘USP’ – unique selling point? You will need to have a business elevator pitch – a short description of what you do, and why – for a number of business reasons, so they earlier you refine this, the better.
2. Stand out
Remember that the person is receiving multiple emails and make sure yours stands out, for the right reasons! Include all the information they ask for – so if they have asked about your business, and business story – make sure you convey your USP and what makes your story interesting. Focus on the good bits, and cut any extra waffle.
3. Keep the email relatively brief
Don’t send over a whole press release – a couple of paragraphs will do the trick. Just make them punchy, so that everything you’re saying is interesting and informative.
4. Personalise the email
There’s is nothing more alienating than getting a cut and paste, unpersonalised email. ‘Dear Charly’ goes a long way with me! And make sure you spell their name correctly! You want to start on the right foot. Make sure the contents of the email feels like it is bespoke to their request, and not just a cut and paste email that you send out all the time.
5. Pay close attention to what the person asked for …
And deliver it. Make sure your email answers the question the person was asking you.
6. Don’t be lazy
While you want to keep the email relatively brief, a couple of lines and a website link is lazy. Don’t expect the journalist to research you – tell them what you want them to know. If someone gets 500 emails, they won’t have time to research every single company they get sent. They are bound to favour the people who lay out the information they asked for as easily as possible. Make it as simple as possible for the journalist to get the information they need about your company.
If you’d like more help doing publicity for your business, check out our PR Module.