Key Idea: Have a great press kit. Journalists are lazy. Make it easy for them to write about you.
How to Get Journalists to Write About You
Getting PR is awesome.
About $40,000 (20%) of our campaign came from magazines, blogs, and news outlets writing about us. Our Uncrate article drove the most sales, followed by Men’s Health.
In addition to the boost in revenue, being able to say that our product was featured on Men’s Health was a big credibility builder – especially in conversations with retailers, partners, etc.
Best of all? PR was actually quite a low-effort marketing channel. We did very little work to drum up these press mentions.
So, how do you actually get these press features?
The Surprising Truth Behind Kickstarter PR
None of the PR outreach we did worked.
We sent out perhaps 100 emails to various bloggers, news outlets, and media sites. We also had our marketing agency reach out to a bunch of news outlets. None of them wrote about us.
On the other hand, Uncrate, AskMen, Men’s Health, and a dozen other outlets wrote about us without any involvement from us. They found our project, thought it was cool, and wrote about us on their own. We didn’t even find out we were in Men’s Health or Uncreate until our friends tagged us on Facebook. They didn’t even bother letting us know they featured us.
Here’s the surprising truth about getting PR: if you have a great product, and you generate a bunch of sales, the press will write about you on their own. If you have a crappy product, or lagging sales, no amount of outreach will get media interested.
Does that mean you shouldn’t do anything to improve your chances? Of course not – there’s a lot you can do to improve your chances of getting featured.
What to Focus On to Get Press Features
There are a few things you can focus on to get press.
A Comprehensive Press Kit
We had a press kit with all our images, a pre-written article, and all the information on the product that news outlets could download with one click. We put all these files in a dropbox link and put it on our Kickstarter page. This let journalists write about us quickly, without having to contact us first.
Focus on Generating Sales
Journalists are paid to write about innovative new products. Products that are already gaining traction. That’s why it’s so important to focus on generating sales. Journalists most likely will not write about a product that has no sales.
That’s why it’s so important to focus on your pre-launch marketing and your Facebook Ads. Our initial $9,200 we spent on pre-launch marketing brought in the first $50,000 in sales. But, in addition to the direct return on investment, it also got us on Uncrate’s radar. The $20,000 that Uncrate brought in could directly be attributed to the money we spent on advertising.
Note: many marketing agencies will charge you extra for PR services. For example, you might have an agency that has a standard rate for Facebook Ads promotion, but charges an extra $2,500 for PR services. Personally, I’d recommend just putting that money in ads instead of PR outreach. The additional sales generated will likely generate more PR than having someone reach out to press.
The one thing we did that really did help with our press was use Kickbooster. Kickbooster is an affiliate network for Kickstarter campaigns. In other words, websites that have traffic can get paid for sending people to Kickstarter campaigns.
Kickbooster helped us get our first two media outlets, AskMen and BroBible. These two outlets promoted us for a commission. But, even though they were “paid media”, we were still able to put their logos on our Kickstarter page. This lent legitimacy to our Kickstarter page.
I believe having these early logos on our campaign was instrumental to getting Uncrate and Men’s Health, which were unpaid featured articles.
P.S. Having a strong launch will do more for your PR than any other factor. To learn how to create a powerful Kickstarter launch, check out our course here.