Alyssa Newcomb, a Tech Reporter for NBC, Fortune and The Today Show joined the OC4 community for a chat on the Do’s and Don’ts of media pitching for startups.  Alyssa has been a tech journalist for 10 years and began her career at ABC. Check out the three ways Alyssa believes startups should engage with the media:


Kick off the relationship with a personal introduction:

Don't spray and pray, personalize your interactions. If you want to try to develop a good relationship with a journalist, make it a priority to send a personal introduction that is specific to the journalist you are trying to develop a relationship with. Take the time to do your research and find out what they write about.

Create a few bullet points outlining how you can be of assistance to them and why your area of expertise matches their coverage. If you find you aren't getting a ton of luck via email, head on over to Twitter! Contribute to their open discussions when applicable and engage with their content on a regular basis. Journalists are much more likely to open a pitch from a name they recognize than one they never heard of. Don't underestimate the power of relationship building!


Develop a pitch that is short, relevant, and concise:

When you are pitching to the media make sure to provide the facts they need upfront while keeping your pitch short. State the key details and make sure to tie in why the story is relevant for them.

While being passionate about your company is great, it's also important to remember that not everyone is as convinced that your product is as groundbreaking as you do. Take the time to step back and determine why an outsider would be interested in your story and why it would interest their audience.


The story doesn't always have to just be about you - find out how you can contribute to a bigger story:

Every startup wants full-blown coverage centralized around their company but not every startup can achieve that. Find ways you can provide data, commentary or other information that can be plugged into a bigger story other than one solely focused on you.

You want to contribute valuable content that can enhance a story to become a trustworthy go-to source for the media. Brainstorm ways you can pitch more than just your own story to help secure coverage for your startup. Do you have any stats that you have collected to help build your product that may be interesting for the general public? Is there anything that makes your team especially unique? Have you found a way to solve a problem aside from the one your product is addressing? Think big - the more variety you can provide the better.

To get in touch with Alyssa and follow her coverage, connect with her on Twitter at @AlyssaNewcomb.

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