Recently, Double Forte participated on a “Pitch the Media Live” panel at WomanCon. Along with four media professionals, Double Forte General Manager Liz O’Donnell offered real-time advice to six entrepreneurs who pitched their companies.
Here are the takeaways:
1. Think big. Reporters talk to dozens of founders every week so keep two things in mind. First, they are not obligated to cover your company but they are probably required to cover your industry. Tell them how you tie into the bigger story – make your story relevant. And second, they can easily forget what made you special when they sit down hours after speaking with you to finally develop a story. Standout and be memorable by explaining how your company fits into a bigger trend. Tell them about your competition – if your business is well differentiated then you will stand out and by sharing the competitive landscape you’ll help the reporter find a way to cover your startup.
2. Package your story. Speaking of helping a reporter package a story, think like a producer when developing your pitch. What visuals would help tell the story? Do you have pictures? Video? Infographics? What experts can weigh in? Do you have their names and numbers? Can they provide quotes? What about results and data or customer testimonials? The more you can provide, the more likely you’ll see your company’s name in print.
3. Create a content strategy. Many journalists freelance and write or produce for multiple news outlets and sites, which means they may have the opportunity to feature your startup more than once – but they’ll need a new angle each time. Think through your content strategy. What is your main message and what are the different angles that stem from that message? For example if you are you launching a new coffee business, what’s the story for retailers? Consumers? Office Managers? What’s the visual story? What tips and advice can you share for brewing the perfect pot? Be ready with more than one relevant story idea when you pitch – you never know what might catch a reporter’s interest.