Tag Archives: media relations

Press Idols: Pitch to Media

My event wanderings took to me to Press Idols (where 5 businesses pitched their businesses and media releases to a media panel), back to The City Hotel. The place is seriously becoming my second home because of how many events I attend there. I was particularly interested in this event though because I love learning about how media knowledge can help startups and small businesses.  

So let’s get to it.  

THE EVENT

Blurb: Press coverage and PR are great ways to get the word out there about your business so practical information from experts is priceless. Press Idols allows small businesses to pitch their ideas and media releases to a panel of journalists and media experts. The panel then gives their feedback and provides presenters with useful tips about how to improve their media releases in the future.

Hanging out before the event

GUEST PANEL

Editor of Nine to Five Editor: Matt Young 

Inner West Courier Journalist: Rashell Habib 

Shoe String Launch Founder and Editor: Matt  Beeche


BUSINESS PITCHES

Five businesses pitched their ideas to the audience and the panel and from what I understand they are all very new ventures, which makes it all the more exciting.

#1. Evolvex Furniture (presented by co-founder Priyanka Rao)

 

Evolvex is a family business, that Priyanka started with her father and allows people to design their own furniture online. It offers affordable, environmentally friendly products that are made with the input from the buyer.

#2 MyShout (presented by co-founders Myron Festejo and Arri Khan)

 

MyShout lets friends send friends free drinks through an iphone app and redeem them at their local bar. In other words you get a virtual voucher for a free drink. The aim is to give people an incentive to socialise with their friends, using free drinks as bait to get them out and about.

#3. Jane Winter (also known as The Princess of Sales she helps SMEs and startups develop their sales skills)

 

Jane offers sales coaching programs to women in business. According to Jane, the problem many women face when running their own businesses is their inability to effectively sell their offering or get customers.

#4. Women As Entrepreneurs (presented by founder Orsolya Parkanyi)

 

Orsi is the creator of a meetup for women entrepreneurs (Women as Entrepreneurs) that seeks to connect entrepreneurial women and to offer them support.

#5. Think Big Online (presented by co-founder Samuel Junghenn)

 

Think Big Online is a marketing agency which created an e-book report to reveal dodgy practices of SEO companies that only claim to be experts in their field without actually knowing how to get results.

LEARNINGS FROM THE PANEL

  • Supporting facts and figures should be included in the media release.
  • Use dot points instead of writing long paragraphs and essay styled media releases.
  • Saturate social media with your message. Make it tailored to your business.
  • Don’t formalise the language in the media release.Use the language the reader is going to understand. Don’t use technical jargon that no one but you is familiar with.
  • Use quotes from existing customers as something to catch the journalist’s attention and illustrate business traction.
  • CRUCIAL: Include contact information such as phone number, email and the website on the media release.
  • Press kits do work – packages catch attention.
  • Include high res photographs of your team or the product when sending out a media release.
  • Think of an angle (an aspect of your business) that makes it unique or interesting.
  • You are part of your brand. If there is something interesting about you, use it.

JOURNO TERMS

  • Photo Op/Photo opportunity: You can grab a publication’s attention by offering their photographer a photo opportunity (for example if you’re running a PR event such as a launch party or a promo). When sending a photo op suggestion, include your contact details, the location where the event will take place and briefly state what will be happening.
  • Press Kit: a package with information about your product/service. This can include product samples, backgrounders, photographs and much more.

THE ORGANISER SPEAKS

 

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Sean Grobbelaar and I’m the host of Pitch to Media run by Press Idols. I am the Networking Coach, Sydney’s leading networking coach. I do training in effective networking. I also run a company called Night Out With The Socialite.

How did Pitch To Media come about?

Press Idols was already started from September Small Business Month last year. We ran three events (as part of Press Idols): Pitch to media, Pitch Your Website and Pitch For Funding. Pitch To Media was a real success so we set up Press Idols. Pitch to Media allows small businesses to engage learn and meet actual journalists and people in the media profession. That way they can learn how they can write an effective press release to capture attention of the journalist and get media coverage.

Favourite Meetup?

Mobile Mondays is really fun for the techy space and there are a lot of others. Young Professionals meetups are a lot of fun.

VOX POPS

My-linh Dang

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m an ex lawyer and I’m actually starting my own business in retail online. Mylo*dee is women’s active wear with a customisation aspect, which means women can design their own active wear. The concept is finding things that everyday women (not necessarily athletes) can wear and be excited and motivated to wear.

What did you want to get out of tonight?

I have no background in PR at all so  I wanted to get information about press releases and getting in contact with the media to help me with my business. I’ve learnt loads today, so it’s been fantastic.


Izhar Basha

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m the co-founder of Firehosiery, a premium Australian leg wear label. I was a lawyer for five years prior to starting the business.

How did you find out about this event?

From Shoestring Launch Magazine. I also contribute to the magazine and write various articles about legal strategy.

Favourite meetup?

Generally entrepreneurial things where we can attend and meet like minded people, discuss new business opportunities, help people out.

EVENT REVIEW


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How To Get Media Coverage For Your Startup

Learnings from the Media Relations 101 for Startups event: [The basics of talking to media and getting media coverage for your startup]

If you didn’t make it to Media Relations 101 for Startups, read what was covered in the event below.

THE SPEAKERS

In all their wise glory

  • Corrie McLeod – Director of Espresso Communications and a PR professional with experience in the IT industry and working with startups.
  • Jeanne-Vida Douglas – BRW journalist and editor with ten years experience reporting in the IT industry.
  • Mahesh Sharma – Freelance journalist reporting on startups.

THE TOPICS

  1. Contacting the media
  2. Getting the media to want you and your story
  3. Building relationships with representatives of media
  4. Making your business media friendly

THE CROWD

Yes, some of us sat on the floor and it was awesome (as was the free beer)

 THE BREAKDOWN

Slideshare courtesy of Jeanne-Vida Douglas (BRW) and Corrie McLeod (Espresso Communications)

(Good) Reasons for PR

  1.  Support sales – the more exposure your business has, the more people will know about it. More people equals more customers.
  2. Talent – convincing an awesomely skilled person to work an early stage business can be hard. Media exposure can help you build a reputation, so you don’t have to beg for someone to join you.
  3. Other business ends – PR doesn’t just work on a B2C level, it can also help you secure partnerships with other businesses by making it easier to approach them. Instead of saying “Hello I know you’ve never heard of my business but…”  you’ll be able to say “Hello, you may remember my business from such publications as TechCrunch and Mashable…” . Need I say more? Reputation, reputation, reputation.

Key Media Messages 

  1. Who are you? Explain concisely. Imagine you only have 30 seconds to spit it out.
  2. What do you do? Again, sum it up in 30 seconds, people.
  3. Who do you do this for? Who are your users and why would they prefer your service?
  4. How are you different? – What makes you stand out?

Think like the journalist. Ask yourself, “What would make a good story?” For example personal experiences make good stories. Have your users advocate the business by sharing positive experiences. If you don’t have any users yet, ask someone you know to be an advocate.

Media Toolkit 

  • Media Release – write the most newsworthy info at the top, include quotes from the founders that support your newsworthy info. Keep your sentences short and simple and write in the voice of the publication you’re sending your release to.
  • Boilerplate – a boiler plate is your organisation’s information. It is usually found at the bottom of the media release and includes the facts that journalists want to know: When the business was founded, the number of customers,  business vision and achievements.
  • Executive photography – photographs of your team can make your story more appealing to the journalist and more appealing to the reader. Make them good. For extra brownie points be creative. Creative images will capture attention, if nothing else.
  • Product images – high quality images that show your products in the best light.
  • Resource gallery – on your website include press releases that mark all worthy milestones such as the first customer, the first investor, the 100th customer, new functionalities, new additions to the team. Why? A journalist will have more information to work with.

Media Strategy

  • Build relationships with media bloggers, influencers and journalists- leave comments on their blogs and articles, offer advice, engage with them.
  • Pitch a story for a specific section of a publication instead of targeting the entire publication. This will show you are familiar with the publication and have thought about the target audience.
  • Think of whats relevant to the biggest audience – journalists write about things that are relevant to the majority of their target audience.
  • DO NOT send out press releases to the publications you don’t read.
  • DO NOT send out press releases to journalists whose copy you haven’t read.
  • DO NOT send them to journalists you haven’t spoken to.

Executive Profiling

  • Have ONE spokesperson – a personality becomes linked to the brand so keep it consistent.
  • If you are the spokesperson – write down numbers and important details before interviews and remember them so you don’t get misquoted.
  • Create a blog that gives a human face to your business: record your experiences and share business progress with your readers.

Useful Links 

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