When drafting a PR campaign for your crowdfunding project, it’s important to keep in mind how crowdfunding differs from the launch of a traditional product or business. Although there are a lot of crowdfunding sites out there, many of them have the following elements in common.
- Fundraising Duration: Almost every crowdfunding campaign has a set duration, which will impact the amount of time that you have to take advantage of any PR attention or media hits. Therefore, you need to be super organized when drafting a PR outreach strategy. Some media publications will offer the “embargo” option if they like your project and want to write about it. Basically, this means that they will hold off on the publication of the article until a certain date.
- Rewards and Perks: The rewards and perks offered throughout a crowdfunding campaign are a great way to incentivize lurkers to become backers. Some of your backers might care about the mission of your project, like you, or find your video engaging. Others will simply want to learn about what kinds of perks you’re offering. Make sure to include these in your press release. Also, underscoring the “limited” or “scarce” nature of them and how to claim one is a great call to action for people to check out your campaign.
- Social Proof: Backers are more skeptical than ever! Unfortunately a growing number of projects that have defrauded backers or have simply not fulfilled on their promised rewards and have made backers more hesitant to back new projects. Therefore, any way that you can add social proof or credibility to the campaign will make it more likely that journalists will check out the project or that potential backers will. Social proof can include the number of social shares, backers, comments, or dollars pledge. Credibility can include media mentions, partner organizations, or simply a compelling founder story.
In the past, we’ve talked about a few ways to create a compelling and engage PR story. We’ve also covered a few ways to contact journalists and some essential steps for a successful media outreach campaign. In this post, we’re going to put together a checklist of items that you should keep in mind when creating the PR draft for the launch of your crowdfunding campaign.
- Do you have an eye-catching headline? In the same way that click-bait news headlines give readers a reason to click through the story, you want to have an interesting headline for your press release and the subject of your email so that a journalist has a reason to read furtur.
- Have you included images or multimedia? Words are one way to tell a story. Images and video are other ways to get a story across very quickly in this social media driven and attention starved world. Have high resolution images on hand that the journalist or blogger can use in their article. Often times, the number of images or multimedia you can send is limited, so provide a link where they can find more multimedia assets.
- Are there quotes from the founder or team? Have you ever noticed how news or human interest stories tend to include quotes from sources or the founder themselves if it’s a new product launch? Rather than making the journalist call you up or exchange emails for an interesting quote, include that quote in your press release! You can also include testimonials from customers or backers to add to the social proof of the pitch.
- Is it easy to find relevant links and contact information? I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve been emailed asking to cover a story and the email didn’t have a link to the company’s website or the URL of where I can find the product. Make it as easy as possible for journalists to find where your project or product exists online. They might be on their mobile phone and not want to search around to find it.
- Have you answered the who, what, when, where, why and how? It’s true that the press release should spin an enthralling story and make the journalist envision how awesome of a story this would make. However, it also needs to include concrete facts, like when the campaign will end (or start), what the product is, who designed it, and why they are so passionate about this project.
- How hard to read is the press release? It’s always best to put yourself in the shoes of someone reading the press release. Is the information easily digestible? Are the paragraphs short and to the point? Are you using active verbs and strong grammar? One easy way to get an idea of how well it’s written is to read it out loud! You’ll quickly catch any grammar or spelling errors. You’ll also get an idea of how the sentences flow.
- What emotions do you arouse in the reader? Finally, a press release is part art and part science. Ask a friend in your industry (or familiar your industry) to read your press release and ask them how they feel after having read the story behind the product. Are they excited to learn more? Bored? Are they confused? Simple questions like these will give you an idea of the tweaks you might need to make to elicit the desired emotional reaction.
Writing a press release, putting together an interesting media story and conducing PR outreach is hard work! However, by reminding yourself of some of these points we mentioned above, you’ll be able to make more efficient use of that time. I also recommend going over some of these tips from PR experts to get an idea of how to best pitch a journalist.