If you’re trying to get some press coverage for your Crowdfunding project and failing, it probably isn’t your fault. It’s probably the fault of your press release. Luckily there’s a better way to get some crowdfunding PR for your project – say hello to “story ideas”.
It’s time to ignore everything you’ve ever been told about Crowdfunding PR and publicity. Forget everything you ever learned about public relations and social media. The fact is that everything you’ve ever been told by anyone involved in the PR industry is wrong. The time has come to look again at traditional PR and think about how you can rework it to get the best results in the shortest time for your Crowdfunding project. It’s time to do some Crowdfunding PR hacking.
Traditionally when a company wants to launch a new Crowdfunding campaign they issue a press release. And that’s their first mistake.
Think about how a press release works. Your company wants to release some important new information to the media so they write a press release to a standard format including some quotes, some facts and some statistics that are deemed to be exciting news. Unfortunately, the problem is that generally, it isn’t exciting news. And why? Because your company just isn’t that interesting.
The problem with press releases is that they only work if the company that releases them are very important and have something very interesting to say. Your company’s Crowdfunding project is neither important nor terribly interesting. If you aren’t a household name like Apple or Microsoft, you might as well not bother. In fact, a press release can even harm your chances of getting media coverage. Let’s look at the reasons why.
Press releases were actually invented back in 1906 when the Pennsylvania Railroad wanted to give their story to the media before public speculation got out of hand about a major accident in which 50 people were killed. This first ever press release set the scene for over a century of very important brands putting forward their side of the story to the media.
However, your company is not a very important brand and you don’t need to clarify your story to the media. Therefore, a press release is not the ideal medium for you to use to market your Crowdfunding project. The chances of your project catching the eye of a high level media executive or you being asked for an interview on the strength of your press release is very slim when you consider the huge number of companies and organizations fighting for media attention on a daily basis.
So if they don’t work for small brand companies, why are press releases still so common? Unfortunately, because press releases work so well for the big name brands, everyone else thinks they need to copy. However, this is not the case. It’s time to try a new way.
The Story Idea
Instead of telling the press that you are important, it’s time to play up to the journalists, make them feel important. Basically, you’re going to offer them a story idea as the core of your crowdfunding PR strategy.
Journalists are under pressure every day to come up with new and engaging stories. Their editor is always hassling them to attract more readers and boost the ratings. In short, they are always on the lookout for a great story idea, and you are going to give them one on a plate.
That is why a story idea succeeds while the press release fails. The press release is all about your company, it’s an invite for the journalist to contact you if they are interested in your new project. On the other hand, a story idea offers something more. Something newsworthy. Something that might be beneficial to the journalist himself because it might just be the next big story. This type of crowdfunding PR brings the journalist to you rather than you going cap in hand to them.
The trick is to link your start up in some way to a recent event, some new trend or recently released statistics. You need to connect your selling points to the fabric of an intrinsically newsworthy tale. And of course, as a favor for handing them this useful news story, all the journalist has to do is link their article back to your Kickstarter project or website.
So Do We Forget About Press Releases?
Generally, new start ups should forget about issuing press releases. As demonstrated earlier, they tend not to work unless the company releasing them has a huge presence. However, never say never. There are times when a press release can be a good idea, even for new start ups.
If, for example, your new start up is joining in a partnership with a much bigger named brand, you can use this to your advantage by issuing a press release, focusing on your relationship and trading on your more well known partner’s name. The same works if your company is participating in a large conference with bigger name brands.
You could also issue a press release as part of a larger promotional package which includes “story idea” media contact. There is no harm in issuing a press release as part of a multi-pronged media offensive and as a support document for your start up.
You can even use a press release as a handy format for inclusion in the “press” section of your website in order to document various milestones that your company has passed.
However, in general, the fact remains that if you want fast results and the best publicity for your Crowdfunding project, you need to ditch the press release. Think instead about forging ahead with the “story ideas” format and reap the benefits of the media attention that your story will generate.
Maybe one day, you will be lucky enough to be an important enough brand to not have to worry about whether or not your press release will be picked up, but until that day, attract the journalists to you with a great story idea if you want to your crowdfunding PR efforts to get real results.
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