Ultimate Guide for Crowdfunding PR in 2019 - 5 Steps to Success

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Ultimate Guide for Crowdfunding PR in 2019 – 5 Steps to Success

21.06.2019

Behind every successful crowdfunding project is a strategically planned & crafted PR campaign.

Business crowdfunding is increasing mainstream for companies and individuals. Kickstarter and Indiegogo platforms enable raising funds and thus help early-stage startupers to multi-chain corporates bring bold ideas into reality.

As for 2017 data $34 billion was the global amount raised by crowdfunding. Further research on crowdfunding market shows that the market will grow by $89.72 billion during 2018-2022.

Crowdfunding Market analysis for pr campaign

Indeed business fundraising is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the crowdfunding. Furthermore, it is becoming more and more popular method to finance startups and their brightest & innovative projects.

Nonetheless, for a successful crowdfunding campaign – it is highly important to develop a compelling PR campaign ahead of other activities.

 

Why press coverage matters for crowdfunding campaigns

1. Raise brand awareness
Well-articulated PR campaign helps spread the word about your campaign to a larger audience.

2. Earn credibility
Validation from an authoritative and unbiased reporter is one of the key factors in generating visibility and gaining potential backers’ trust.

3. Drive traffic
Traffic that comes from a third-party post on a product and service tends to show higher conversion rates.

 

Challenge to be featured

Getting highly authoritative media and reporters’ attention is one of the trickiest parts of the crowdfunding PR campaign.

PR for Crowdfunding Campaign

The reasons why journalists usually avoid covering crowdfunding campaigns:

  1. Many crowdfunding campaigns are not making it to the final stage of product delivery. That, in turn, makes the journalist story irrelevant in the first place and leads to reputational losses.
  2. The main goal of every journalist is to deliver an interesting, educational material to their readers. Thus, if they don’t consider it an interesting material for their audience, they won’t like to serve it as а free advertiser for short-term fundraising needs.
  3. Also, media outlet professionals don’t like simultaneous pitching of them and their colleagues from their company.

However, if you consider your product to be truly groundbreaking and worth being presented to a larger public – it is more than possible to be featured not only in medium ranking journals but also hit the top ones.

For the crowdfunding PR campaign to be successful, it should be strategized. Unless you make a comprehensive master plan, you would not get much coverage.

Without further ado, here are the 5 steps towards successful crowdfunding PR campaign.

 

1. Research is the key

1) Relevancy is of utmost importance while doing research -in as far in advance as possible.

A common mistake of most crowd campaigners is the emphasis on the quantity of the media outlets in the database and not the quality.

The more relevant your campaign is to the journal & the more related topics the reporter has covered, the higher chances they’d be interested and willing to cover the product you seek to crowdfund.

2) Make a segmented database specifying topics that media outlets/reporters cover.

Segmentation helps to generate personalized emails for outreach.

3) Target specific writers, not publications when possible.

Generic email addresses of media outlets usually don’t work well. They are email stuffed and the chances of your email to be read are significantly low.
Hence the better approach is to target specific journalists. This, in turn, helps to develop a relationship with writers.

4) Create a three-part media database of high, medium and low-ranking journals and reporters.

With this strategy, you minimize your chances of not being covered and acquire access to a larger public as every outlet has its own niche. The more the product is featured, the higher are chances to reach the funding goal and get overfunded.

 

2. Prioritize media launch targets

While planning the outreach campaign, make a selection of outlets that have the potential of driving the most traffic for the publication and offer them an exclusive.

The primary goal of every journalist is to deliver news to his/her audience. And for sure theу are not interested in writing about the product that has been already covered by many.

High ranking media outlets are key to maximize traffic and pledge conversions. Offering them exclusive increases your chances to be featured by them and so receive substantial backing for your campaign.

One of the primary tools to check the page authority – aka established reputation – is Alexa traffic rank Google Chrome extension.

 

3. Establish relationships ahead of the campaign

Crowdfunding public relations

Pretty much every journalist giving tips on how to pitch them emphasizes the fact that they receive 100s of emails per day. Hence, the chances they are going to open your email if they are not familiar with you are quite low.

If you are not hiring a large crowdfunding PR firm that already has established relations with journalists and decide to do it by yourself, you want them to know you in advance.

The LinkedIn social platform could be perfect for enlarging your professional network with journalists you would like to write about your campaign.

Here are some tips on how to get to the journalists’ radar before you pitch them.

Building relationships takes time and efforts, however, once you have them the chances of getting coverage are considerably increasing. Journalists are always in search of good stories. Receiving an email from the familiar addressee with a relevant story is hitting the mark.

 

4. Press kit: Create a compelling and media-friendly press kit

A press kit is first-hand information that reporters receive about your product and crowdfunding campaign.

The more detailed is the press kit, the easier is for a journalist to write a story about you without the need to search for reliable source information.

Press Release Example

 

Usual media kit consists of several must-have elements:

  1. High-definition and a viral-to-go video presenting the product you crowdfund to
  2. High-resolution pictures of the product that could be further used for the coverage
  3. Bios of the key people of your crowd campaign
  4. Facts and figures on the industry the product belongs to
  5. A comprehensive and well-structured press release

A press release is the most essential part of the press kit and one of the strongest tools in the crowd campaign arsenal. A press release is a sort of frame on how the journalists would see the product and its marketing positioning and how they present it to the large auditorium.

There are lots of tips on how to write the best press release ever and how to structure it and there is no universal formula for it.

However, a consistent press release should at least include:

  1. A short and sweet title in the format of {someone announces something new};
  2. Paragraph with more details on the announced product {what it does, what purpose it serves to, date and location of the product crowdfunding campaign launch};
  3. Paragraph with specifications of the product that make it outstanding on the market;
  4. Story of the product creation and the quote from the founder of the startup {give a compelling reason why the idea of the product was born, and why it is unique to the market};
  5. The relevancy of the product from the standpoint of the industry it belongs to and the community it is meant for.

Except for traditional hosts for the press kit as Dropbox or Google Drive, Presskithero helps to create a press kit that presents all the information concerning your product and crowdfunding campaign in an easy-to-navigate interface.

 

5. Media pitch: Craft killer email and LinkedIn pitching texts (pitch examples included)

E-mail continues to be the most preferable form of business communication.

That is why crafting a perfect pitch is one of the most important steps to landing a great publication about your crowdfunding project.

There are some must do’s while composing a perfect pitch for it to be open and be of interest to the journalist.

 

1. Nail a perfect subject line

Subject line serves as a “gate” to your email. The better your “gates” look like the higher is the probability that the journalist will be inclined to open it.

Here are DO’s and DON’Ts for subject lines

  • Keep it short and catchy (an average subject line should not exceed 50 characters);
  • Give insight into the email content but leave room for curiosity;
  • Create a personalized subject line for each segmented list of your database to target the right beat;
  • Make it mobile-friendly as the majority of emails nowadays are opened by smartphones;
  • DON’T use CAPS, emojis, exclamation points otherwise your email will end up in the bin box.
  • Use the Subject Line tool to create the perfect email subject line.
  • Use the journalist’s name in the subject line to make it more personalized

 

2. Brainstorm and come up with the body (structure) of your pitch

  • Briefly introduce yourself.
  • Use your database segmentation to personalize your pitch. Give them a reason to be interested in by mentioning the relevancy to the topics they are covering.
  • Give a brief description of your product. Don’t make evaluative judgments on your product. Instead, provide facts about your product and what makes it exceptional and unique to the market.
  • If the content is complex, use bullet points to make your email short and readable.
  • Give journalists a reason to cover your crowdfunding campaign. Engaging material for their readers is the best argument for the case.
  • Attach a link of your press kit in the email to give journalists first-hand information on your campaign.
  • Be concise. Don’t exceed 190 words in your email.

 

Here are pitch examples. Feel free to copy them and don’t forget to customize them to your campaign 🙂

 

Media pitch example 1

Pr pitch for crowdfunding campaign

Media pitch example 2

Pr pitch for crowdfunding campaign

 

3. The art of follow ups

As said before, journalists often avoid covering crowdfunding campaigns. That’s why you don’t expect to get a publication from the first attempt. Following up properly after sending pitches is one of the most important skills for your fundraising campaign.

Develop your follow up strategy that will help you to land a great story on your product.

  • Follow up after 3 business days the pitch was sent
  • Change your subject line if your email was not opened (You can easily track the open rate with tools like Streak)
  • For those who have seen your pitch follow up with something new to your original pitch, offer news on your crowd campaign, or the product you fundraise.

Here’s a follow up pitch example for the third point:

follow up message for pr campaign

The formula “wanted to check” does not provide any additional value to your email, and with high probability, it would be ignored by a reporter.

If they saw your original pitch and did not provide a reply that means you should pitch your story either from a different angle or to include new information to your story that would be of interest to a journalist.

 

LinkedIn pitching and follow-ups

If email ‘’hunting’’ for your crowdfunding PR campaign somehow failed, LinkedIn is the right place to find the right addressee through pitching in the first place. The chances of your message to be seen in the social platform are much higher than those in the email box clutter.

As a matter of fact, LinkedIn can be used for initial pitches. Pitching a journalist via LinkedIn on behalf of the startup founder is one of the most efficient ways to land a great publication.

Founders and CEOs who pitch their story firstly, have credibility since they are the ones responsible for the final delivery of the product after the crowdfunding campaign.

Thus the ‘target-beat’ reporters can acquire first-hand insider information on the campaign and provide great material for their readers.

Here’s a LinkedIn pitch example which we used during Vezo 360 campaign:

linkedin pitch for journalists

 

Takeaway

The right crowdfunding PR strategy and its implementation would land you great publication across your niche media outlets and will help you to heat up your funding goal further.

Bonus: here is the ultimate toolkit for PR research and outreach!

Tatev Bijoyan

Tatev Bijoyan

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