I'm quite excited today because we got our first proper bit of press in Business Insider — and we're in their daily briefing.
I thought I'd share a summary of how we got there, hopefully it might be helpful.
Part 1: Doing it wrong
The truth is that I tried to get some press last month and it was all weird. I found this great post by Austen Allred and I tried to copy his method.
I created a PR doc, built a list of 50+ news outlets and sent emails to their contact address.
Got zero response. Rien du tout. Nada.
I got my head down and was like "at least I tried"
Part 2: Making it personal - the 36h challenge
A couple of weeks after that first experience I decided to look back at what I did. I followed the steps but the whole thing felt very foreign to me. I'm bad at sales and marketing. I'm awful in crowds. I can definitely get a great conversation going, but I'm not the guy who can just walk to anyone and say "Hi, we should chat". I need things to feel personal.
So I went back to the drawing board and changed my approach.
First I needed help, so I posted my plan on Twitter. I thought we had a good story and a new approach to the problem of focus and accountability. I drafted a new PR, and a friend of mine helped me craft the message.
Then I went back to my list of 50+ websites and decided to focus on journalists instead. Making it personal. I looked for articles that were talking about new startups being launched, or OKRs/goal-setting. I read them all and got the details of the journalists.
Finally I reached out to them via email or Twitter with a short, personal message. I was clear to them I had no idea how to do PR, but pitched the story.
Hi <person>, my name is Sten and I'm a co-founder of https://tability.io. We're 2 ex-Atlassian building an accountability platform for teams. So far 500+ orgs have signed up and we have customers ranging from dozens of people to thousands — I believe it's the first of its kind and I thought you might be interested.
I sent perhaps 5 messages and got 2 people interested. I was super happy when I got the first email saying that we had an interesting story. Fast forward to today and we're in the press.
Anyway, I keep my expectations low because it's a marathon, but it's been a great experience. Top things I learned:
It sounds very wishy-washy but it's hard to do well when you're juggling several hats and feel always behind your backlog.
Good luck y'all, and keep sharing your journey.