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How to Write a Captivating Crowdfunding Press Release

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

It’s really, really hard to get the attention of a journalist.

The email inbox is more crowded than ever before.

You’re competing against so many other notable entrepreneurs for a news story.

Bloggers (like myself) and journalists are getting dozens and dozens of pitches every single day.

Why would they write about YOU?

In this competitive landscape, you have a massive advantage.

You have a buddy named Sal who has been helping entrepreneurs raise money and get PR attention for years.

He’ll give you the inside scoop on how to write a attention-grabbing irresistible press release.

When you apply these techniques, you’ll see more people reading your pitch, returning your emails, and eventually, you’ll start to get media hits!

1. Write an Irresistible Headline

Your headline will determine whether or not a reporter opens your email and reads your actual pitch. It should grab attention, convey value, or pique curiosity.

When you’re getting dozens and dozens of emails every single day, you’re looking for excuses to delete emails that are spammy or irrelevant.

If your headline doesn’t stand out, your email will go unread or it will be deleted. Your message won’t even reach the journalist!

I want to help prevent this from happening to you, because it’s super frustrating.

There are a few tricks that you can use to improve the quality of your subject line. These include:

  • Mirroring your headline with past articles they’ve written.
  • Using an emotionally evocative headline formula.
  • Using the person’s name to grab their attention.
  • Promising something of value that they’re seeking.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Include the most important information in the beginning.

To give you a simple example of one email that caught my attention and led to a podcast interview, I’ll include a screenshot down below.

It reads…

Subject: What I’ve learned from hit 100% of my goal in 20 hours

Message: “Hey Sal!

Love the podcast – it played a big part of my pre-campaign research for my current campaign. Especially your interview with Lomography in Ep.129.

I’m about 3/4 through my first campaign (successfully funded in 20 hours!). I’ve learnt a TON that I think would help your first time campaign creators, including:

  • How I collected 10k leads in 4 weeks at just over 20c per lead
  • The email launch sequence I used to turn that into my goal of $30k in 20 hours (and a mistake that I estimate cost me at least another $20k)
  • How I gave my email list ‘exclusive’ early access to my campaign to generate excitement
  • The no.1 thing I’d do differently with Facebook ads next time around (without taking the easy route of outsourcing to an agency)

Would love to share these learnings (and many more) with your listeners.”

Seeing as my podcast is meant to share lessons and tips with the listeners, this subject line immediately caught my attention. The bullet points went through what the podcast could look like.

It was very easy to say yes to featuring this entrepreneur on my show.

2. Resist Jamming In Too Much Info

Okay, let’s get this out of the way.

I love YOU. You’re amazing. Especially if you regularly follow my work.

I do my best to read every email, message, and tweet, but I’m a human being.

So is every other person out there on the planet. This includes journalists and bloggers.

No one is going to read a super long email from someone they don’t know, especially if the value isn’t readily apparent.

The initial mindset when sending out emails is “Well, if I can only get a journalist’s attention briefly, I should give them as much info as possible to get to know my brand.”

The problem with this is that lots of information is intimidating. It takes time and mental energy to read an email. The longer your email, the more a journalist has to work to consume the information.

They’re more likely going to archive it or just outright delete the email.

Your pitch email should serve as a teaser. If the journalists wants more information, they can ask for it! You can also attach more information in the form of a press release or PDF that they can reference .

Bullet points and concise sentences are great ways to make sure your email is read.

By sending a long email, you’re basically saying “I don’t value YOUR time. I also don’t have the time to figure out what I really want to say and put together a short email.”

3. Readers Want a Story (Not Just Information)

It’s pretty rare that a product or project is so innovative that its existence is genuine news.

By news I mean that when you’re telling someone that “this product now exists,” their eyes would go wide and they say “no way!”

Journalists are certainly looking to cover informational news announcements, but they are also looking for stories that their readers would like.

This can be your secret weapon!

When you craft a compelling story, you’ll instantly get the attention of a reader. They’ll go through the article, wondering what’s going to happen next.

As they read, they’ll come to have thoughts, opinions, and even experience a change in their perspective.

You can embed a product announcement WITHIN a story. When done right, the story will also generate more positive feelings towards the product or the team that created it.

These are the basic elements of a story:

  • Main character with values and a world view.
  • An event that happens that causes the start of a journey.
  • Main character who has a goal.
  • Conflict or opposing forces that prevent that goal from being achieved.
  • Realizations or victories.
  • Insights or defeats.
  • Ultimate conclusion.

If you want to learn more about storytelling, you can check out this article. 

4. Hire a Professional

I know that I’m going through a lot of information right now. It can get confusing and seem overwhelming.

If you don’t want to write a press release yourself, you can have someone else do it for you!

You can have them send out this press release to various news outlets, through a press release service, or you can use it to reference when you’re putting together your own.

Of course, there are websites like UpWork where you can find professionals to do this. You can also reach out to big PR agencies who will represent your business.

If you’re on a budget, you can also use CrowdfundingPR.org. We set up this website to offer free and enhanced press release options for crowdfunding campaigns.

You can easily submit a press release there and also check out some of the other cool projects that are launching every single day.

This is an easy alternative to doing it all yourself. You can also get distribution instantly to news sites and on social media networks.

5. Make it Easy as Pie To Write About You

There is nothing special about a blogger. Writers aren’t gods. They’re lazy, just like you and me.

The media industry is notorious for underpaying and overworking journalists. They have very aggressive writing deadlines. They gotta crank out a lot of stories in a short timeframe.

If you can make their job easier, they’ll love you for it!

What I’m about to say would probably be denied by any reputable journalist, but it’s totally true.

When you bring a story to someone and they can easily see what it would look like on the web, they’ll be far more likely to ink it up.

Make it seem as “copy and paste” as possible. All they have to do is do a little customizing or writing and boom! It will be a completed article.

In the previous points, we covered ideas like storytelling, succinct writing, and headlines. You can use these elements to show a journalist what the story would look like if they took the time to write it.

You can also attach assets like the press release, founder quotes, photos, and videos so that they can quickly pull together a piece on your company.

Of course, if you’re willing to give them an “exclusive story” then they will also be much more eager to cover your product.

6. How to Communicate Credibility, Trust, and Media-Worthiness

Have you ever noticed that the gains in life tend to go to people who are already doing well?

If your business is raking in lots of money, it’s easier for it to make even more.

Why?

Because you can purchase quality services, invest in advertising, and upgrade your infrastructure. This leads to more gains in productivity.

The same principle applies to media outreach. If you’re already credible, trustworthy, and popular, then it’s gonna be easier to get a media hit.

These are a few easy ways that you can communicate credibility:

  • Awards, accolades, and recognition
  • Previous accomplishments
  • Customer reviews and marketplace reception
  • Traffic, sales, popularity
  • Other media hits and mentions
  • Results your product has gotten customers

Credibility indicators like these will make it so that the reporter actually takes some time to read your story. It’s not as risky for them to write about you.

If they were to cover a company that has no sales, popularity, and has an un-proven product, then they could risk their career!

Their boss might be unhappy, because no one would care about the story, and therefore not visit it and get advertising dollars for the publication.

Likely, their boss will also question their journalistic standards. Why is the story newsworthy?

You have to make it easy for a reporter to say “yes” by removing risk from the equation.

You can do that using some of the credibility indicators I referenced above.

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