Last night I had a fantastic opportunity to attend a private event with TechCrunch Staff in San Francisco focused on do’s and don’ts when pitching TechCrunch writers on your news, story or product. I’m happy to share with you what I’ve learned throughout the event right from the TechCrunch Staff!
1. TechCrunch reporters are… humans!
Sounds obvious? Remember that they usually get over 100 emails daily. They make their own decisions on what to write about, and they write in their own words only. So getting writers’ attention is really a matter of making them interested in what you have to offer. Once they do, they follow up and dig deeper into the subject. Think of TC writers as of professional bloggers who have access to this massive platform called TechCrunch, and will either decide to make their own (often opinionated) article or not.
2. Email directly to specific writers
Do research on which writer specializes in which industry or theme, and target them in the first place. When you send an email, do not cc or bcc tons of other writers – this is an immediate red light. Writers like when they are targeted personally, when they know that someone took the effort to choose them as potentially interested in your content. Your actions serve as a filter on whether they should pay attention to what you’re sending or not.
3. Make your subject line stand out and be to the point
Reporters get over a hundred emails daily. And they need to do their work too. Avoid ambiguous things like ‘Love letter’ or ‘This is the next great thing’ or ‘Press release about XYZ’ (yeah, apparently, people still do that). If there is some news related to your story, put it right in the title.
4. Keep your email short and to the point
Be proud, but choose only the most important facts. Do not write a story of your life or anything that’s not directly related to the main topic. If you want to add things, better paste links to the website, press kit, video. Links are cool. Attachments? Meh.
5. Don’t be humble
Be self-confident and share the most outstanding facts, names, brands. Don’t act as if you were sorry for disturbing the time. If you think what you have to say is worth being featured on TechCrunch, then make it STAND OUT in the title and body.
6. Add personal touch
The goal is to intrigue, not send a copy of dry info, so no need to send an official press release. In most cases that’s long and boring. Writers like short paragraphs and if they get interested, they will search for more, reach out… things like that.
7. Make it newsworthy
What’s newsworthy? Funding announcements, product announcements (major features or launch), hitting big milestones, major hires (a “get”).
What’s not newsworthy? A minor version update, got a new office, hired some engineers etc.
8. Make it a story
Look for some angles and context to your topic, and add credible elements to it such as: What you do, who you are (if credible, well known or unique), why they should care and where they can find more information.
9. Try to get a warm introduction
As always, introductions through friends or colleagues are welcome. Often times investors have relationships with TechCrunch too, so ask them for an introduction. They usually have no problem with that because if they invest money, they care. If they care, they will make an intro.
10. Communicate politely. Follow ups?
Reporters prefer that you always email first. No phone calls, because that starts to feel creepy and intrusive. Follow ups are ok, after around 3-5 days.
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p.s. My own pitch? It would look like this:
It was fantastic to meet you yesterday at TechCrunch Include!
Here is the link to my show Valley Talks – www.valleytalks.com, feel free to check it out!
Valley Talks is a talk show on real-life stories of Silicon Valley startups. It gives the insider’s look at weird and crazy moments of founder’s life in SV and tells backstage stories of founder’s successes like getting acquired by Facebook, raising $8M in funding or getting press attention worldwide.
I have filmed and published over 30 episodes with startup founders and experts from Silicon Valley: YC and 500 Startups alumni, attorneys of Facebook and YC, investors, founders that raised millions of dollars or were acquired, or who are just at the beginning of their startup journey.
Some most distinctive stories:
Next episodes planned:
1, 2, 3
Let me know if this sounds interesting to you, and I’d love to be in touch!
Founder, host, producer
Valley Talks is created out of passion by Sylwia Gorajek, who built her own startup in Silicon Valley soon after arriving in America to follow her dreams. Now, she inspires other people around the world on what it takes to run a startup in Silicon Valley.