PR Nuke: Get PR by instantly emailing every blog and blogger in your industry with a personalized message about your new startup, product, or feature, and the message won’t look like it was sent in bulk, ensuring a response.
1 Work Day
The first thing we need to do is compile a spreadsheet of blogs/bloggers that would possibly write about your startup (or new feature, or whatever). The first place we’re going to look is on Alltop, which has already categorized the best blogs on many popular topics. Visit http://www.alltop.com and do a search in the top-right for the broad industry that your startup would fall within (i.e. photography). Then select the tags that fit your startup most accurately (i.e. http://www.aperture.alltop.com), and paste the URLs of these tags somewhere. These URLs will be needed later.
Next, you are going to use Google News to also find relevant blogs/bloggers in your industry. Visit http://www.news.google.com and do a search for terms that relate to your startup. Now you know which journalist and which blogs are writing about things related to your startup and this means they will be more likely to write about you. Also paste the URL’s of these search results somewhere.
Now you should have a list of URLs that look something like this:
You need to translate the information about these blogs (from all the URLs above) into a spreadsheet. You will want to setup a Google Drive Spreadsheet for this at http://www.drive.google.com. We are using Google because you will be farming out the data entry and we want to be able to share this file easily, which Google allows (and it allows you to watch the progress of the data entry in real-time). Your spreadsheet should have the following column headers:
Journalist Email Address
Blog Email Address
Now you have URLs that list all the blogs and journalists you care about. You also have a Google Doc ready for data. Now you just need someone to do the grunt work of data entry. This is where Fiverr comes into play. Visit http://www.fiverr.com and do a search for “data entry” and you’ll be given results of all the people that will do various amounts of data entry for only $5. Some people prefer to use oDesk, but Fiverr is much better and easier to use when you are not going to have an ongoing working relationship with the person. Others prefer Mechanical Turk, but MTurk takes much longer to setup even if it saves a few bucks.
Once you find the person on Fiverr that you want to use, then buy a gig from them and give them their instructions. Basically, tell them that you need them to visit the URLs that you’ve already found, visit each of the blogs listed, and then complete the spreadsheet that you share with them. If possible they will find the actual journalist’s name and email address, but if not they will at least find the email address and name of the blog itself.
Finally, we have a completed spreadsheet of blogs and journalists that are likely to write about news in your industry. Now we are going to use Mandrill to actually send the emails. Mandrill requires some development but it allows us the ability to send emails to a massive list while still making the emails look customized. There is also a cost to Mandrill, but it is only pennies for hundreds of emails.
Visit https://mandrillapp.com and create a “template” for your email that is going out to journalists. After you’ve written the copy for the email you’ll need a developer to create the variables that Mandrill will use. This is how Mandrill will actually take your spreadsheet and insert the journalist or blog name at the top of the email, so it looks customized. Tell your developer to pull the journalist name and journalist email as the default variable and to only use the blog name and blog email address if these are not available. An email sent to a person, instead of the “tips” email, will always be better received. If you do not have a developer then you can also use MailChimp Merge Tags (http://mailchimp.com/resources/guides/how-to-use-merge-tags) or even Gmail Mail Merge (http://lifehacker.com/5508283/how-to-set-up-a-mail-merge-in-gmail-for-personalized-mass-emails). However, I would highly recommend learning Mandrill because it will be able to handle all the aspects of your products email strategy (drip campaigns, event based emails, general announcement emails, and anything else), which Gmail cannot, and it won’t cost a lot of money, even when you have a massive list of emails. MailChimp will become very expensive if you become successful. Learn Mandrill 🙂
Remember to include a link in your email to your press kit. Journalists are busy, so if you can give them stats, quotes, photos, and anything else to help them along, they will be more apt to write about you. This press kit should not be attached to the email, as this will make people suspicious of viruses. Instead, just link to a zip file of the press kit on your own server.
BuzzStream can be used to complete most of the elements from steps 2-4 in this recipe. You would give your Fiverr person access to your BuzzStream account and they would use it to input the information about the blogs you sent them. It is much more powerful and intuitive, and will yield much better information about the blog or journalist. It also includes the ability to send emails to the journalists from within the app, possibly doing away with the need for a separate email app. However, you will have to email each journalist individually if you go this route. They have plans that start at $29/month, and you can learn more by visiting http://www.buzzstream.com/social-media/tour.
Once you send this email you can watch the press roll in. I have personally used this recipe to gain over 10k beta email signups before I even launched the product. (Photo by Jason Rogers)
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