Pitching Blockchain Startup Stories To Media
Find Common Ground
Be clever in how you frame your story. It is vital that you find common ground between what works for you, and what counts as a good story for the journalist.
“The word ‘exclusive’ is, of course, gold to any self-respecting journalist,” says Josh Quittner, Decrypt editor-in-chief, “There is often a happy place where our interests—finding a good, original story—and yours align. The trick is finding it. Having done that, we always want access to the principal at your company, so we can better understand it, in real quotes, not canned ones.”
Don’t Sell Old News As New
Journalists find it frustrating, to say the least, when an exciting tidbit of news comes their way only for it to be revealed that it was written up by someone else a week earlier.
“They send you their press release shilling their amaze-balls, app that comes in all different flavors and benefits everyone including the Pope and Mother Theresa,” says Adriana Hamacher, senior reporter at Decrypt, “when you ask when it launched, they tell you it was last week and got an AMAZING write up from Bloomberg, isn’t that great? Err, no that’s not great.”
Have Someone On Hand to Field Journalists’ Questions
Be wary of issuing a press release and neglecting the inevitable follow-up process.
“Have a PR person who answers their email and/or phone and can answer questions,” says David Gerard, blogger, and former Wikimedia spokesman, “Too many think their press release is just going to be reprinted. And it will! In spammy bottom of the barrel Bitcoin blogs that nobody actually reads.”
Moreover, make sure that your PR contact knows everything about the product. Redirecting the inquirer will lose all momentum in your pursuit of good press.
Make Life Easier for Journalists
Help make things easier for your target journalists by giving them the right leads to follow up as they work to verify your claims.
“When pitching: understand that you operate in a very murky industry rife with scams, and the reporter’s job is not to represent your client/your coin’s interests.” says Wong Joon Ian, Coindesk managing director, “For example, you say you have a partnership with Bank X, give the reporter access to Bank X, don’t make them take your word for it only.”
Don’t Claim to Be a World Without Proof
While the quality of PR in the Bitcoin industry is slowly improving, there are still far too many headlines claiming to be an earth-shattering, history-making, record-breaking innovation. Don’t fall for the hype and try to join in, unless you can back your claims.
“The first thing any self-respecting journalist is going to do is google [your] claim,” says Hamacher, “If there’s a slim chance that the big bold claim is flawed you can kiss that sweet bit of coverage goodbye.”