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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

How To Craft Your Pitch Email To Startup Media

I would estimate that within my tenure at ArcticStartup the amount of electricity used to send us pitch emails could power the ISS. Ok, that’s an overstatement. But the fact is that we get a lot of emails and I’ve become a connoisseur of the pitch. To help support the symbiotic relationship between entrepreneurs and ArcticStartup, here are some tips you can use for crafting your emails. This is mostly common sense, but it can’t hurt to write it down.

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First of all, we’re accessible.
Feel free to send us emails about anything to Editor@ArcticStartup.com. It’ll get to everyone.

Unless we know each other very well, give us your “one liner”.
A frame of reference always helps, especially considering we have multiple writers. Just start off your email “Hi, I’m this person from this startup and we’re doing this.” Especially good to do if you’ve slightly pivoted, as well.

Tell us why you’re doing what you’re doing.
This fits into the one liner, but it’s worth mentioning separately. Sometimes we’ll get pitches that go into good detail on what you’re doing, and how you’re doing it, but the “why” you’re doing it, or why some news has happened sometimes gets left to assumption.

Tell us where you’re from. Physically.
This is ArcticStartup specific, but unless you have a really ethnically Nordic or Baltic name, I’m hovering over the “archive” key. We’re happy to cover Nordic and Baltic startups, but we get email from pretty much everywhere. Also note that it’s in our editorial policy to cover Nordic and Baltic founded companies based elsewhere (although why would you leave our great weather and low taxes?!) so feel free to get in touch.

Give us a story or trend you’ll fit into
We know startups, we know the region, and we have some idea of what’s happening in this world. But you hopefully know your sector better than I do. Are you seeing the early trembles of some geologic shifts in your sector? Or is the legal system too antiquated for real innovation in some areas? We love covering that kind of stuff, and are happy to use your insight as a source. It works out for both of us. A good story means good traffic, and therefore more investors and potential customers recognizing you as an authority in your area.

Embargoed news? Put that right up top.
We strictly never break embargoes but if you want your news to not be released until a certain time, it’s standard to put that in all caps right at the top.

Shoot me with some bullet points.
Hook me with an intro and then provide the quick info that I’ll use to fill up the story. I’m always happy to see emails with bullet points, it lays it all out there.

We love numbers. Give us some stats about the sum you’ve raised, hard numbers on growth, users, or whatever you’re measuring. It adds weight to whatever you’re saying.

The background info.
I’m pretty good at scanning emails for whatever I need, so feel free to fill up your email with info after you get the quick facts out of the way.

Tell us about your team
We’re all from the same neighborhood, so I think one way we could improve ArcticStartup is by adding more info about the people behind projects. It would be good to put a face to a name, and build more cross-border connections that way. Feel free to send us a team picture, actually. It would be a nice way to end articles.

Let’s Skype.
This is a paradox but you can pull it off. Give me all of this info, but get my head turning to want to ask you some questions. A quick skype chat means a better story, so include your Skype name. I can record the call there for better quotes, and its much less of a hassle than the phone.

Re-use email thread.
If you’re coming back for the second time for us to write about your startup, it might make sense to use the same email thread. It brings back locked away memories of the relationship we used to have.

Images, etc.
If you want to attach logos or screenshots to your email, that’s cool, although I’m a fan of a link to a well put together press page (there’s another article to write). But seriously people, I’m not printing your logo on a billboard so let’s keep that resolution to something realistic. The same goes for screenshots – I think WordPress doesn’t like images bigger than 1.2 MB or something, so if you’re going over that then I have to scale it in the image editor. It’s not a deal breaker, but then again there’s no sense sending over a huge file.

Bonus image pro-tip:
If you’ve got an awesome rectangular image that we can 580px across the top, we’re happy to use that. It looks good. But if it makes sense to put a logo as your top image, give us some dimensions that Facebook will like. The ‘Book forces us to grab the top image we use, and if your dimensions are too long or lean it will attach no image when we post your news on Facebook. It doesn’t look too hot. Your square Twitter logo is usually good dimensions if you’ve got that lying around.

Specials for our readers?
If you give us a discount code for our readers, we’ll throw it in the article. I have no idea what kind of efficacy that has but I think it gives readers some incentive to visit.

Man, we are swamped.
My bad, but sometimes your email might let lost in the churn. If we’re taking a while, it can’t hurt to circle back.

After the story goes out:

It can’t hurt to like it.
We don’t have the crazy network that the international startup blogs have, so every little bit helps on the Social Network. Facebook is one of the largest drivers of our traffic and as I’m sure you’ve found out on your own Pages, the amount of visibility we get depends on how many clicks and likes we’re getting. Is kind of lame to like the article you’re featured in? Not really, and the more likes we get, the more people that will potentially see your article. So consider visiting our Facebook page after the article and like it there.

If we’ve covered your startup, I think it’s probably a good PR move to comment on our article to reach out to our readers and ask if anyone has any questions about your startup or services. A few founders have done that, and I’ve always regarded it as a classy move.

Have any more PR tips that you think works? Or have any questions about your methods? Let us know in the comments.

trouble with notebook image by Shutterstock

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