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How Do I Pitch My Startup to Journalists?

If you’re one of the millions of startups are formed each year, then you know how important it is to get visibility through the press. Journalists offer a great way to create a buzz, but it can often feel impossible to grab their attention. If you’ve been wondering how you can successfully pitch your business to journalists, then take a look at our guide below.

1. Brevity is Key

There is no better way to lose people’s interest than overwhelming them with lots of text or talk. If you’re emailing a pitch to a journalist, keep it short and sweet. Make the subject brief but descriptive – you want it to grab their attention, but not end with a dreaded “…” in the subject line. If it’s a phone call, limit your pitch to a  few sentence. People will stop listening after that – no matter how fascinating your business may be.

2. Keep it Personal

Don’t copy and paste a generic message to every journalist. Use personal names and identifiers, like the name of the publication for which they work. Trust us, the personal touches make a big difference.

3. Talk About the Future

Give journalists insight into why you and your business is not part of the “five minutes of fame” crowd. Entrepreneur and Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste explains that giving a glimpse into the future “makes setting up future stories a whole lot easier. Once you reach those milestones, it gives the journalist something to refer back to and segway into the next article.”

4. Create A Shareable Story

Find an angle that makes your startup’s story worth telling. Journalists aren’t interested in creating a glorified press release for your company. Instead, weave your company’s mission into a narrative that will intrigue and engage readers. It helps to think about it from a third person point of view. If you logged onto your favorite blog or picked up your favorite newspaper, what subjects and angles would make you stop and read?

5. Make Sure You’re Ready for Your Close-Up

Before you pitch, make sure that your startup is in top-notch shape. Is your website glitch-free? Are your social media outlets thriving? Does your interface look great? You’ve got one shot to let your business shine, and it’s important that you don’t jump the gun. It’s better to wait until your website is in top condition before you pitch, rather than showcasing an imperfect product.

Related Post: Get your startup thriving in the venture capital ecosystem

Armed with these tools, your startup can transform from “just another startup” to a coveted story! Use these tips to forge a fruitful and effective relationships with journalists.

Image Credit: [Flickr / James Jones]


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