You Can Do It!
For an early-stage innovator, the weeks before sharing a big announcement with the world can be extremely nerve-wracking:
“What if people think I’m not qualified?”“What if I come off as self-promotional?”“What if they get the story wrong?”“What if no one even covers it?”
As a PR consultant, I have coached hundreds of early-stage innovators, including ones who have raised money from famous investors, spoken at prestigious conferences and received PhDs from world-renowned institutions. I am always amazed, despite all of their achievements, by how many of them have these concerns.
So what’s the solution?
In my experience, the solution is to have a good, clear plan: knowing your objectives for this specific announcement, and working backward to create a reporter outreach strategy that is tailored to what you are trying to accomplish — whether it’s getting in front of customers, improving your reputation in your field to look attractive to employees or just sharing the work and getting it out there in front of a relevant audience to see what happens.
Where to get started?
The Pre-Launch Questionnaire on page 8 is a great starting point — the questions are seemingly simple, but you will find that answering them accurately is easier said than done. The good news is that, once you do, sharing your work with journalists should just be a matter of following the instructions in this book.
The premise of this PR Manual is that if we stop thinking of journalists as “targets” and start thinking of them as partners, everyone will benefit: you will get higher quality coverage of your latest project or announcement, and they will get a story that actually moves the needle for them.
By using this manual to zero in on your shared interests, and think strategically about what you want to accomplish with this launch — and what role press coverage can play in helping you achieve your objectives — your conversations with journalists can be natural and authentic. Because you’ll know exactly why you are approaching them about this announcement, and what you want to ask them for.
I hope this will help you feel confident that you’re presenting your work in an interesting, natural way — and help them get the story right.