Crowfunding Public Relations
8 Tips To Get PR For Your Campaign
Crowdfunding projects can never have too much exposure, and crowdfunding public relations is a great way to get it.
People need to arrive on your campaign page before they can watch your promotional video, read through your pitch, and learn more about your project.
Want to learn how to leverage crowdfunding public relations to drive massive traffic?
You’re in the right place.
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Table of Contents
How To Do Crowdfunding Public Relations, The Right Way
Gaining exposure is one of the key reasons for doing crowdfunding in the first place. Some projects have even said that the attention their campaign received was even more valuable than the money raised! Crowdfunding is the perfect way to get your project in the spotlight and attract new customers, suppliers and collaborators.
Journalists hold the keys to a huge number of eyeballs. If a journalist features your crowdfunding campaign, your message will reach a vast new crowd.
The trouble is, you are not the only one to have this bright idea! Every week, journalists are inundated with dozens of pitches from crowdfunding campaigns hoping for free publicity. They cannot possibly deal with all of them, so they simply delete the vast majority of these requests.
This doesn’t mean you should give up. Instead, you must be better than the competition. This is not as hard as it sounds. Most of the competition are *terrible* with their crowdfunding public relations – taking a super-generic, “spray-and-pray” approach.
With just a little effort and know-how, you can beat them.
Just follow these 8 steps and your crowdfunding PR will stand out, head and shoulders above the rest.
1. Focus On Relevant, Niche Publications
While getting your project into Forbes or The Wall Street Journal may provide a boost to the ego, pitching publications like these is not usually time well spent.
For one thing, journalists at these big-name media outlets are far more overwhelmed. Everyone wants to get featured in them, so there is a lot more competition to overcome. It’s much easier to get airtime from journalists at more niche publications.
Secondly, although niche audiences are smaller, they tend to be more targeted. Exposure gained from a well-chosen niche publication is a lot more likely to convert into backing for your campaign. Say that you were raising money for organic soap. Getting featured in a magazine focused on natural, organic products might get only 1/10th of the views vs. a mention in Forbes / The Wall Street Journal, but the readers could be 20x as interested in a project like yours, versus the large “general” audience at those bigger publications.
When doing crowdfunding public relations, don’t be seduced by the sheer size of the audience. Instead, focus on traffic that converts. Focus your efforts on specialized audiences, where your “crowd” is already likely to be.
2. Build A Relationship With The Journalist First
Almost no-one bothers to build a relationship with the journalist before they make their pitch. Instead, the vast majority of crowdfunding campaigns simply send through their press release, cold.
If you instead treat the journalist as a real human being, and give before you ask, then they will recognize your name when your press release arrives in their inbox. This alone will place you far ahead of the competition.
How do you build a relationship with a journalist? Here are three ideas.
- If they have a blog, subscribe to it. Send them an email and leave a comment from time to time, complimenting them on their work.
- Like and share their work on social media, making sure to tag their profile handle so that they get notified that you did it.
- Try to meet with them in person. People are much more open to dealing with those they have already met in real life, than messages from people they have never heard of popping up in their email inbox.
3. Customize Your Pitch
Most crowdfunding campaigns just write a single press release, and then send an identical copy to every journalist. The reason journalists delete crowdfunding press releases *as if* they were spam is because… they *are* spam. The very definition of “spam” is: a single message sent indiscriminately to many people without any customization.
You can do better.
The art of crowdfunding public relations is to craft a message highly-tailored to the specific journalist and their publication. Who is their readership, and how does your crowdfunding campaign match with their interests?
What’s the angle?
Yes, this customization takes effort, but it’s a lot more effective than having your press release deleted without being read.
If you have too many journalists to send an individual message to, at the very least come up with a few versions. Perhaps have half-a-dozen variations on your release, which you can send to journalists from similar publications. It’s better than a single message to everyone.
4. Make Your Project Obvious
If your pitch is not comprehensible, it will not get any cut-through.
If your brand name is something abstract, it’s all-the-more important to make sure the journalist can easily come to grips with what your project actually is.
It will help to compare your project to another, better-known one. For example, “We’re like Gmail, but we don’t run advertising.”, or “We’re like Airbnb, but only for elderly people.” This will help the journalist quickly get to grips with who you are and what you do, rather than ignore your crowdfunding public relations in a haze of confusion.
5. Be Easily Contactable
One of the golden rules of journalism is to never miss a deadline. Professional journalists take this very seriously, and aren’t going to wait around on someone else’s schedule when they have their editor breathing down their neck.
When on-deadline, journalists need to reach their source immediately. Not next week, not tomorrow – right this minute. If they phone you, you need to pick up. They won’t leave an answer-phone message – they’ll just move on to the next source on their list.
The lesson here is to keep your phone with you, and keep it turned on when you are doing your crowdfunding PR outreach. Or, if the journalist sends an email, respond to it quickly. It could be the difference between getting your campaign featured and not.
6. Make It Short & Snappy
You may think that because journalists deal in the written word, they would be amenable to a detailed crowdfunding press release, but nothing could be further from the truth. They would much rather digest a short, to-the-point release than parse through multiple pages of text. In fact, if it’s too long, they probably won’t read it at all. Journalists are busy people. There are dozens of other emails sitting in their inbox awaiting their attention, and they don’t have time to spend too long on yours.
The other benefit of a short crowdfunding press release is it gives you much more control over what will end up being included in the final publication. A journalist might quote almost any part of a long press release – and perhaps not the part you want. But if you give them a short press release, they won’t have much choice over the material to include. Be disciplined over your release, and make sure it only contains the key points and emotional hooks. Strong crowdfunding public relations is a filler-free zone.
7. Write The Headline For Them
Attention-grabbing headlines are more important than ever. Journalism has shifted online, where everything is measurable and a journalist’s job performance is now judged (at least in part) by whether the article’s headline gets readers to click. Do this critical task for them by writing a compelling headline.
How do you write a compelling headline?
1. Relate it to something topical. If everyone is talking about the Football World Cup, or the Royal Wedding, or the United States Election, it can be effective to piggy-back on an already-trending topic.
2. Look at related Google pay-per-click advertisements. People running Google Adwords campaigns are paying money for every click, so they pay very close attention to optimizing every word of their headline. Use this to your advantage, by simply looking at what they have come up with. After a few Google searches you will start to notice recurring themes for what is attention-grabbing.
3. Check out headlines from sites like Buzzfeed. These so-called “click-bait” sites have mastered the science of getting the click. A few minutes on Buzzfeed will reveal headlines with phrases such as “You Need To Know”, “The Ultimate Guide”, and “Right Now”. Apply these key phrases to your own headline.
8. Maintain & Strengthen The Relationship
If your campaign gets featured, your job isn’t over. Crowdfunding public relations is relationship-building – not transactional. So, continue to nurture the relationship with the journalist even after your crowdfunding offer has finished.
- Continue sharing the journalist’s work
- Keep working to be their ‘go-to source’ for issues related to your industry
- Ask if they know anyone at other publications. Journalists tend to know other journalists. Maybe they can introduce you
You might want to go to the crowd to raise money again someday. Even if not, you’ll definitely want to get publicity at some point – for a future product launch, or another event. By making a journalist’s life easier, you will be able to count on them to feature you to reach their crowd with your message when the time comes.
Successful crowdfunding public relations is a great first step to getting exposure, but there are many other ways too.
If you want to know how to run a successful rewards crowdfunding campaign of your own, check out this step-by-step playbook! It explains rewards crowdfunds – from start to finish.
The New Book - Rewards Crowdfunding.
✓ How Rewards Crowdfunding Works
✓ Learn From Rewards Crowdfunding Success Stories
✓ How To Build Your Crowd, Even If You Don't Have One Yet
✓ The Differences Between Kickstarter vs Indiegogo
✓ Everything Else You Need To Launch Your Own Campaign!