Tag Archives: pr over coffee

PR can be profitable for nonprofits

KBenz_8x10_colorBy Guest blogger and speaker, Kevin Benz:

About 15 years ago I sat on a non-profit marketing workshop as a “media panelist.” I got the usual questions — how do we get media to actually read our press release? How to we get information to a reporter? Why won’t the news media come to my press conference / gala / event? They are the same questions I still get from well-meaning, passionate non-profits, start-ups and even big business.

What’s important about all of these questions is the theme they represent: “We don’t have (or we don’t want to spend) money for traditional advertising and we know there must be a way to get coverage of our awesome work.” The good news is — there is.

Here is the hard part, “earned media” may be free in terms of dollars, but it requires a commitment of time and energy. This can also be a challenge in small businesses and non-profit organizations already doing too much with not enough.

“Earned” media is called “earned” for a reason, you have to work for it, and here are the first steps you need BEFORE you start pursuing it:

  • A strong, consistent message that enhances your expertise and gets media attention.
  • A working knowledge of how the news media works and a deep respect for how hard the job is.
  • Meet and develop relationships with them
  • The willingness to answer the phone.
  • The skill to present your message in a consistent way.

All of this may seem a bit daunting, but the payoff of this work can be amazing. Imagine becoming the public, media voice for your clients and customers, imagine being the first call from a reporter looking for expertise in your area, imagine getting meaningful coverage that reaches not only your current customers and donors, but a huge pool of potential new ones.

Media coverage compares to standing center stage in a stadium full of potential donors, clients and customers and you’ve just been handed the mic.

And here’s the crazy secret, as intimidating as they might seem, the news media is looking as hard for you as you are for them. Good stories need experts and witnesses. Your job is to be that person, the go-to, the expert, the one a reporter can count on. If you can do that, your job becomes easier — reporters love to include those people who deliver, over and over again.

If you are willing to do the hard work up front — it won’t cost anything but time — the payoff can take you and your business to another level.

About Kevin Benz: Kevin Benz (@kbenztx) spent 30 years in broadcast and online journalism launching two entrepreneurial journalism efforts you might recognize — News 8 Austin (now Time Warner Cable News) and Culturemap Austin. A few years ago he launched i-media Strategies, a company dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations and businesses large and small build their public profile and promote themselves to and through the news media.

All I want for Christmas is…

I’m sure everybody remembers the song “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” and how it symbolizes the simple wishes of a child.

Well, I have a few wishes of my own this Christmas. I’m not gonna lie, some are pretty darn self-serving. But most are pretty simple, really. No, winning the Apple PR account didn’t make the list – this year, at least. Just like little Melissa Lynn from the YouTube video above, I want some pretty basic things this year.

Ahem, All I want for Christmas is:

Ornaments: I love it when my clients win awards: industry awards, best company to work for awards, fastest growing company awards, healthiest company awards. Awards are like ornaments; they make my clients look good and gives me something to promote to the media.

Grinch: a lot of my customers are in the tech startup space. And a lot of their funding comes from those well-off investors that have all the money in the world and, despite their natural inclination to horde wealth like the Grinch who stole Christmas, decide to invest in promising technologies and aspiring entrepreneurs. So my wish for 2015 is that more Grinches open up their wallets to invest in the future of the American economy, whether in the tech space, fashion, food or some other new industry yet to be launched.

Peace on Earth: why not aim high? Yes, peace on Earth is a lofty goal, but it’s a worthwhile goal and definitely worth adding to any Christmas wish list.

Thriving media outlets: established media outlets are my stock-in-trade as a PR professional. By placing clients in well-known media outlets like Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, CNN and blogs like TechCrunch, I am able to promote them in ways that have a formidable impact on brand awareness and revenue growth. In the era of social-mobile and the expectation of free information, media outlets have to figure out a way to make money and turn a profit. Some are doing a pretty good job, but many more need help. So, Santa, please help my friends in the media!

Tiny tots: Christmas is about “tiny tots with their eyes all aglow.” No other business demographic represents those tiny tots more than the 26 million or so small businesses and startups across all time zones. They put it all on the line everyday and could use a little Christmas cheer in the form of a rebounding economy and increased corporate spending directed toward the little firms. Wages are also closely tied to the prosperity of the entrepreneurial working class; incredibly enough, with a little more cash in their pockets, average Americans tend to spend more and small businesses feel merry and glad. Santa, won’t you please add salary growth to your list of economic to-do’s?

Prosperity: as an entrepreneur, my prosperity is always in doubt. But that’s the nature of the independent, be-your-own-boss career track I love. Still, I wish for more prosperity for my firm and my team of consultants, even as I wish it for my clients, my competition and other risk-takers in this wonderful melting pot we call the American Economy.

Stockings hung by the chimney: the “Night Before Christmas” provides us with one wish. All the kids who hung their stockings by the chimney did so with the belief – nay, faith! – that the effort would be rewarded with all kinds of goodies. I want more entrepreneurs to hang their stockings and continue taking risk by starting up businesses, investing in them by hiring and purchasing inventory in hopes that St. Nick will soon be there. We are a nation of risk-takers; that’s how we founded and built this great nation into the dominant economy it is today. My wish is that we double down and continue believing that our stockings will be filled and our entrepreneurial efforts rewarded.

Presents: I would be lying if I said I didn’t want presents. For me, a present is any client who realizes the power of PR to drive awareness of a brand, improve a company’s reputation in the era of Yelp and Internet trolls and generate more website clicks and closed sales. Clients who trust a PR agency to grow their business will no doubt be rewarded the entire year with goodies, gifts and greatness to last them the year to come.

Elves: I have become something of a Santa in the PR world, at least here in Austin. My PR over Coffee group holds meetups that feature Q&A panels with reporters and bloggers from local and national media outlets so that businesses and nonprofits can figure out how to get valuable news coverage. I am always in need of reporters and bloggers who are willing to share their wisdom with those who need it the most. I am also looking for guest bloggers for my PR over Coffee blog so if you know any talented PR folks who want to share some valuable DIY PR tips, then send them my way.

Bah Humbug: I would love to see the Scrooges of the world visited by the three Christmas ghosts. We need more benevolence, tolerance and giving to heal the many wounds that continue to be a drag on this great country. From the painful legacy of racism to the ever-present (and growing) income disparity, we need a real Christmas Miracle to give our country a shot in the arm.

That’s my Christmas wish list for this holiday season. What’s on your list?

About Dave Manzer:  Dave Manzer founded an Austin tech PR agency for startups and emerging-growth businesses in 2009. Dave Manzer specializes in highly integrated PR & marketing strategies that help companies in technology, healthcare and professional services reach their goals in brand awareness and revenue growth. To contact Dave directly about the PR over Coffee blog, please email him at dave(@)davemanzer.com.

What Reporters Want To Hear From Nonprofits

IMG_0370It’s not always easy for a nonprofit to get the attention of the news media, let alone score valuable media coverage for their important causes, upcoming events and fundraising goals.

Still, this week at yet another PR over Coffee event here in Austin, we heard from four media professionals who all said that there are some guidelines that, if followed, can improve a nonprofit’s chances of getting in the news.

Attending the 3rd annual Nonprofit Media Panel were:
• Amy Denney, an editor for Community Impact News (@ImpactNews), one of Austin’s largest print news outlets by circulation with a strong commitment to report on news at the community level.
• Rhonda Fanning, producer of The Texas Standard (@TheTexasStandard), a brand new daily news show gearing up to launch in mid-November from KUT’s news room with plans to cover Texas-wide news culled from Public Radio news rooms from around the state.
• Amanda Tatum, host of Studio 512 (Studio512TV), Austin’s bold new daily lifestyle news show on KXAN, whose mantra is to try anything fun, exciting or even a little crazy at least once.
• Nikki Bonner, the imaginative producer of Studio 512 whose ability to create an entertaining, high velocity lifestyle news show is nothing short of amazing.

Questions from the audience came fast and furious, and the panelists were incredibly generous with their answers. What follows is list of abbreviated take-aways to give you some tips on how to approach these busy reporters and producers with your nonprofit news:

• Lead time: give the media outlet plenty of advance notice of your nonprofit’s upcoming event. The Texas Standard may need up to 2-3 weeks. Studio 512 needs closer to 1-2 months. Community Impact News is published monthly so needs 2-3 months.
• Follow-up: none of the panelists mind follow-up after an initial pitch. Sometimes pitches get lost in the shuffle between reporters and editors. A quick email can get you back on track.
• KISS: the keep-it-simple rule works wonders when pitching reporters. Avoid lengthy paragraphs, use well-organized bullets and get the Who-What-Where-When-Why across.
• Studio 512: this 30-minute show on KXAN starts at 12:30 p.m. daily, focuses on lifestyle topics and loves nonprofit causes, especially if they involve something fun and visually entertaining – like polka, parachuting, or paintball.
• Trending news: if your nonprofit can be tied to a breaking story or trending news, either local or national, then be sure to explain how it relates to the news. Respond quickly, however, as the news cycle is amazing quick and you may miss out on your chance to get picked up.
• Expert source: some of the media outlets value expert sources, which is when a spokesperson from your nonprofit is quoted as part of a larger news story. This is especially relevant to The Texas Standard, which will cover a wide variety of local, statewide, national and even international news – from a Texas perspective.
• The Texas Standard: slated to launch in November, this news program can potentially turn around a story in the same day as long as you call or email the newsroom before 10am and it’s breaking news or ties to breaking news – e.g., a doctor speaks about the surprise case of Ebola in Dallas.
• Community Impact News: close to 10 years now, this print monthly has been covering the community like nobody’s business. Impact News has a lot of different ways nonprofits can get word out about their upcoming events. Go to the Impact News website and search for the edition in which your nonprofit operates (e.g., northwest Austin, Georgetown, central Austin) and click the calendar to add your event. It will be added online and in print as long as you do it 2-3 months beforehand.
• Press releases: contrary to popular opinion, press releases are not dead, but they clearly prefer a well-organized email pitch that gives them the overall hook so they can decide whether or not to pursue your story.
• All of them also post their stories on the Internet, with except of The Texas Standard as the website is still being built.
• All of them prefer email pitches to phone calls.
• Customize your pitch to each in order to answer: “Why is this important to their audience?”
• You can pitch multiple people inside their respective organizations.
• You can pitch multiple news outlets as they all believe they can pull what they need from the news pitch and add their special take on it.
• If you have a press release, paste it in the body of the email pitch, after the signature line.
• The Texas Standard: the host is David Brown, former host of Marketplace on NPR, likes gadgets, technology, Teslas and music of all kinds.
• Pictures: you can send pictures but if you use an smartphone then take a landscape (horizontal) picture as it tends to work better with TV and web formatting.

I’m sure there is a lot more I am forgetting but this should give you a few ideas on how to approach these Austin media outlets, and even ones in other communities, with news about your nonprofit.

Happy Pitching!

About Dave Manzer: Dave Manzer founded an Austin PR agency for startups and emerging-growth businesses in 2009. Dave Manzer is one of the only agencies in the country specializing in technology, healthcare and energy PR to provide blended performance-based pricing. To contact Dave directly, please email him at dave(@)davemanzer.com.


12 Days of Christmas PR Tips

IMG_0274If you’re like me, you hate that Christmas is starting earlier and earlier each year. It used to be that the start of the holiday shopping season was the day after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday, which meant we could have a nice, quiet family gathering punctuated by some college football before venturing out the next day for the season’s hottest deals.

What does that mean if you are hoping to get your business in the news in time for the sliding holiday schedule? Get ready sooner, plan to run a PR campaign longer and be as creative as possible to stand out from the pack.

In my own version of the 12 Days Christmas (only now it’s probably closer to 45 days), here are some DIY PR tips to help you grab a stocking-full of media mentions:

1. Start Early: If you are in retail, then you should be planning for the holidays in early summer. Many print magazines are planning out their holiday issues 3-6 months in advance. Online pubs don’t start as early but you want to get the jump on the competition; plan on reaching out to them as early as September (now!). Newspapers might plan out their holiday content 1-2 months in advance, depending upon the size of the publication. Finally, TV news has the shortest lead-time but you still need to start early in order to be top-of-mind as they plan their morning and weekend news shows.
2. National vs. Local: Decide if you want to go after the national media or local ones instead. Keep in mind that going after national media is very, very hard because everybody wants to get national coverage, especially in lifestyle pubs that reach millions of consumers. If your brand depends upon local customers then that’s where you should focus your attention.
3. Call-to-Action: If you are planning a holiday event or there is some kind of date which is critical like a post-Halloween Christmas sale, then be sure to tell the media about it as they are often motivated by time deadlines (especially TV news).
4. Lists: Media outlets LOVE lists. In fact, they call them “listicles.” It results in more eyeballs for a TV show, hands on a newspaper or clicks to a website. The more unique your gift ideas, the better. For restaurants, you could ask if media outlets are doing lists on holiday beverages, dishes or party venues.
5. Email vs. Phone: Most journalists prefer you email them, unless you are already on a first-name basis and they can trust you to send good story ideas. Otherwise, try emailing a couple of times before picking up the phone.
6. Social Media: Sometimes you can pique the interest of a reporter with a well-written tweet or Facebook post. Just be careful not to abuse the trust with too many solicitations.
7. Doing Good: The holidays is a busy time for altruism and thus it’s harder to get on the radar of media outlets for any events you may decide to launch. Toy collections, coat collections, holiday meal give-aways…the list goes on. If you decide to pursue a holiday event then be prepared to start early and don’t give up on it if you don’t get much media coverage the first time through.
8. Holiday Trends: Not every news mention needs to fit into the perfect little holiday story with a bow on top. Sometimes you can ride a trending news story if it relates to your business and the holidays. Say there’s a massive amount of snow in Colorado and your business helps book ski tours then consider pitching a story about a perfect way to spend Christmas at a Colorado ski resort.
9. Don’t forget New Years: It’s part of the holidays, too! Expand your horizons by a week and you will increase your chances of getting picked in the news.
10. Visuals: Be sure to have lots of good visuals in the form of high-resolution pictures, images and videos to share with the media. It makes it that much easier for media professionals to work with you.
11. Samples: The jury is out on whether you should send unsolicited samples of what you make or sell to the media. The bottom-line is that sending out products won’t be the reason why you are picked for a story; it’s the quality (and timeliness) of your story idea. My recommendation is skip the samples; work harder on making your pitch memorable, then offer samples.
12. Don’t give up: Just because you don’t hear back from a reporter doesn’t mean you should give up. Wait a couple of days and reach back out. Just don’t turn into a pest, or cop an attitude – they are doing you the favor, not the other way around.

Those are your 12 Days of Christmas tips for a fun, festive holiday season. Feel free to ask us any questions or post any of your time-honored PR tips!

About Dave Manzer:  Dave Manzer founded an Austin PR and marketing firm for startups and emerging-growth businesses in 2009. Dave Manzer specializes in highly integrated PR & marketing strategies that help companies in technology, healthcare and professional services reach their goals in brand awareness and revenue growth. To contact Dave directly about the PR over Coffee blog, please email him at dave(@)davemanzer.com.

15 point PR plan for getting your small business in the national news

Getting your small business into national news outlets like the Wall Street Journal, CNN or even reality TV shows like Top Chef can transform your business overnight. It goes by different names — the Oprah Effect, the Colbert Bump, The Fieri Effect — but it leads to the same radical results: booming sales.

Truthiness: If your story is a good one, and the media outlet is extremely popular, you might just find new customers flocking to your business like summer moths to a Coleman Lantern at the stroke of midnight in the bayous of Southern Louisiana. Orders, customers, revenue – all could literally double within months of a prime-time media mention.

Bottom-line, the media loves a good story, and small business owners who are risk takers and innovators succeeding in the face of overwhelming competition are the stuff of legend in a country raised on tall business tales.

So the question becomes how do you get your small business into the national news? Alas, if it were as easy as following a formula, more business owners would be doing it.

Still, there are some basic rules of the PR game you can follow if you want to score some valuable publicity in a national outlet. Here are 15 tips to help you with your conquest of national media:

  1. Uniqueness: everybody loves a unique idea, new technology or fresh approach. A lot of media coverage is given to small businesses that have found ways to innovate and gain first-to-market leads. Think Cronuts from the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City.
  2. Trends: many journalists and bloggers like to be the first to spot new trends like insourcing manufacturing jobs (i.e., bringing jobs back from China to the USA) or how drought is affecting winter sports businesses in the northwest.
  3. Research: figure out which media outlet offers the most promise for your business. If your business is very “visual” and you’re part of a hot trend like wearable technology, then going after CNN or NBC makes sense.
  4. Focus: narrow down your field of national media outlets to a few. Why not more? The fact is very few small businesses are compelling enough to get the attention of multiple media outlets, unless of course they are an addictive game app, like the Flappy Bird app was before its developer pulled the plug on the app store.
  5. Target & Engage: find a single reporter in the media outlet you have chosen that has covered stories similar to yours (i.e., small business innovations or trends; or lifestyle trends). Follow the reporter on Twitter and begin tweeting his or her stories while mentioning the reporter’s Twitter handle in the tweets. Facebook is usually not an option but some reporters actually have public profiles and encourage interaction on the platform.
  6. Brainstorm: work hard to come up with some clever, unique and authentic ideas that will help you stand out from the 1000s of other small businesses pitching national outlets like Mashable and The Food Network. Test your ideas with friends, colleagues and family. Pick the 2-3 that really stand out from the rest.
  7. Contact Information: not every reporter is easily contacted. Most reporters I have interviewed for PR over Coffee in the past prefer emails to any other form of contact; but if they don’t provide you with an email on the website then you have to get creative. Because almost none of them want a phone call, that usually leaves social media.
  8. Twitter Pitch: use Twitter if you don’t have an email to use or if the reporter is not responding to your emails. Twitter forces you to capture the gist of your story idea in 120 characters or fewer so be as economical in your diction as possible. Don’t tweet more than 1-2 times or the reporter will think you’re being a pest. If the reporter says to send an email pitch, follow up with an email immediately.
  9. Email Pitch: if you have an email, by all means use it. Make your pitch succinct, answering the all-important question of “why is this important to a reporter’s audience?” Steer clear of overly long paragraphs and don’t use overly technical jargon. If you get no response, follow up your pitch within 24 hours if the news is time-sensitive, or within 2-5 days to make sure the pitch stays on the reporter’s radar screen.
  10. Title: your title in an email pitch is the most important part of the pitch. It’s what allows you to set the “hook” in the reporter’s imagination and trigger a follow-up email or tweet.
  11. Don’t Overpitch: if you aren’t getting any responses for your pitch after trying several times, then it’s probably time to try another approach. That’s why you brainstormed 2-3 ideas so you can have other options up your sleeve.
  12. Responsiveness: if a reporter does respond favorably to your story pitch, be ready to drop what you’re doing to get what the reporter needs in order to write or produce the story. Failing to do that means you just lost your best shot at getting national attention through a world-class media outlet.
  13. Gratitude: if you succeed in getting featured in the national media, make sure you thank the reporter.
  14. Promotion: if you get into a national media outlet, then tell the world about it. Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and any other social media platform you can think of. Be sure to give reporters credit on Twitter because they like to promote their work, too.
  15. Never Say Die: a final suggestion is to not give up if at first you don’t succeed. Very few small businesses make it into the national news the first time they try. You can’t always know what will trigger a reporter’s interest, which is why many PR professionals like me will tell you it takes up to 6 months of relationship-building with reporters before we start seeing success on the national stage.

The rest is up to you. So why not get started now? Your fame in the national news is just a pitch away!

About Dave Manzer: Dave Manzer founded an Austin tech PR firm agency for startup and enterprise businesses in 2009. Dave Manzer specializes in highly integrated PR & marketing strategies that help companies in technology, healthcare and professional services reach their goals in brand awareness and revenue growth. To contact Dave directly about the PR over Coffee blog, please email him at dave(@)davemanzer.com.

Free PR resources for your small business

As a small business owner myself, I understand the need to do more with less. A lot more, for a lot less.

But if your dreams are as big as your heart, and you have a never-say-die attitude, then you can promote your business to the media and grow its reach and revenue over time.

Here is a list of free resources that small business owners like you and me can take advantage of when trying to get media coverage for our latest accomplishments:

  1. Help a Reporter Out: originally started by Peter Shankman to connect reporters with expert sources, now owned by Vocus, Help a Reporter Out, also known as HARO, continues to offer small businesses a chance to get an interview with a Tier 1 media outlet like CNNMoney, Forbes.com and Entrepreneur. Click here to sign up for the service, which will send you three daily emails filled with lots and lots of source requests. CAVEAT: the service can be a little overwhelming to follow, so be sure you’re ready to spend a little time each day combing the quote leads, some of which are from unknown blogs, “authors,” and the dreaded “anonymous.”
  2. USNPL: this handy website is a massive list of newspapers complete with links to the newspaper website and contact information. For example, say you want to know the name of the newspaper for Arab, Alabama. Click here and you’ll get access to information like the editor name, phone number, address, and more.
  3. The Business Journals: Biz Journals owns business journals in over 40 cities across America from Albany all the way to Albuquerque. Each city journal is managed locally and does a great job of covering local business. Each journal accepts story pitches directly from small businesses, and often they even hold breakfasts and special events so you can meet their reporters face-to-face. To find the Business Journal near you, click here.
  4. Twitter: don’t overlook Twitter as a way to find, follow and engage reporters that write about what you do. One pharmacy owner in Austin, Texas tweeted a local TV news reporter about one of its natural allergy products as a way to help cedar pollen sufferers. The next day the pharmacy was featured in the news along with the product he pitched.
  5. Online publications: you can also read virtually any media outlet online today for free, or very nearly free. Get to know which media outlets cover your community (or industry) the most to discover which reporters and bloggers to whom you should direct a pitch. Be sure to read what they write to make sure you are a good fit for their “news beat” (e.g., restaurant critic as opposed to a healthcare reporter) or all your work will amount to nothing.
  6. Coffee or lunch: you can always ask a reporter out for coffee or lunch. It’s a low-cost and effective way to get plugged directly into a media outlet. Plan out several story pitches about your business to see which one sticks the most. And don’t get your feelings hurt if the reporter says the pitches aren’t ready for prime-time just yet. PR is about building trust and long-lasting relationships, not instant gratification.
  7. Online press release distribution: many services like PRWeb and PRLeap will distribute your press release online for a fee. But one allows you to post a press release for free. It’s called PRLOG and is found here. Essentially, an online press release distribution outlet like PRLOG is primarily for your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy, which will help improve your Internet search engine rankings. In other words, reporters are not scouring these websites for breaking news. It’s up to you to contact them directly to pitch your story. Sorry. But at least it’s free!
  8. Networking: don’t overlook the opportunity to run into a reporter at an event like a trade show or local economic forum. You can also ask your friends and business associates if they know any reporters covering your industry or community; one of them could live next to the 6 o’clock news anchor for the CBS affiliate in your city.

Last but not least, the PR over Coffee blog is a free resource that helps you figure out new ways to get noticed. Keep reading and I promise you will come away with some sure-fire ways to get your business the media attention is truly deserves.

About Dave Manzer: Dave Manzer founded his own tech PR agency in Austin in 2009. Dave Manzer PR and Marketing helps startups and emerging growth companies become recognizable brands through innovative, value-driven PR campaigns. He also launched PR over Coffee to provide small business PR advice so that entrepreneurs and startups could practice “DIY” PR and promote themselves to a much wider audience. For more information about Dave or PR over Coffee, email info(@)PRoverCoffee.com.

Sweet PR Tips for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and it’s not too late to get your small business a little love from the news media. But you have to act fast. Wait any longer and you may as well (Hershey’s) Kisses your chance goodbye.

Many small businesses can share in the Valentine’s Day media glow, some of which include:

  • Restaurants & bars
  • Clothing boutiques
  • Jewelry stores
  • Bakeries
  • Wine shops and liquor stores
  • Candy shops
  • Hair and nail salons
  • Bed & breakfast inns

To come up with a story idea that could find its way to a reporter’s heart, keep these tips in mind:

Originality: reporters love unique ideas that can help them add a little freshness to an otherwise stale, been-there-done-that story.

Lists: reporters also like to create lists for holidays and special days like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, etc. Reach out to a local lifestyle reporter to suggest a themed product or service offering to get added to the annual list.

Get to the point: when communicating with a reporter, get to the point fast. Be sure to cover the Who, What, Where, When and Why. Be prepared to answer why is this important to the reporter’s audience.

If at first you don’t succeed…: just like the saying, be persistent in your pitch to a reporter. Start with an email, then follow up with a phone call where practical. Still no response? Follow the reporter on Twitter and retweet a couple of his or her tweets. Try a friendly follow-up email after that.  Every pitch should have between 3-5 touches, which today includes email, phone and social media.

Be available: if a reporter decides to interview you and suggests a date and time, then do your best to make yourself available. Remember, the reporter is doing you a favor, not the other way around.

There are more tips, to be sure, but if you follow the suggestions above you will greatly improve your chances of success.

Got any tips you want to share? Feel free to comment below.

About Dave Manzer: Dave Manzer founded his own small business PR agency in Austin in 2009. Dave Manzer PR and Marketing helps startups and emerging growth companies become recognizable brands through innovative, value-driven PR campaigns. He also launched PR over Coffee to provide small business PR advice so that entrepreneurs and startups could practice “DIY” PR and promote themselves to a much wider audience. For more information about Dave or PR over Coffee, email info(@)PRoverCoffee.com.

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