Soch Behind the Media Approach for your Crowdfunding Campaign!

Posted on 15 November, 2016 by Team Wishberry


Image Source - Royal Highland Show

Let’s just say that you have been through the 30-60 day process of preparing the campaign page content, shooting the pitch video, compiling a list of potential funders, working on a social media plan,  etc. and of course managing your campaign once it is out. Now what!

Even after all this, except for you, your family and a few friends, nobody really knows what you’re upto. There is no doubt (as it has been proven time and again) that this close group will pitch in with 40-60% of your crowdfunding target. However, for the remaining money to come-in, the word needs to spread beyond this group. And, how should you go about that? Enter journalists! Journos don’t just spread the word but also legitimise your campaign.

Crowdfunding is picking up pace in India and along with your campaign there are 20 other projects hitting a journalist’s inbox everyday. Approaching them needs to be done right, and here are a few tips that’ll make this job easier.

Go with the right Beat

This is important; you don’t want to be titled ‘dim-witted’ for doing something like approaching a health journalist with a music story. There is an extremely simple method of understanding what the journalist covers. GOOGLE! In this digital age, almost all publications have a dedicated page, listing the articles that each of their journalists have  covered in the past. A quick look-up of the journalist’s name on Google and it shouldn’t be difficult to find the link to this page. In fact, the date on the journalist’s last story also tells you if the he/she is even working with the publication now.

Along with the beat and the work status, it is also important to understand the style of writing. This generally varies as per the format that the publication follows. Say within music itself, a Rolling Stone will dig much deeper into an artist's music as compared to a Mid-Day who will focus on the story of the artist, to The Times of India who would look out for the impact that the artist is creating on the larger society with his/her work. So, while beat helps in shortlisting the target journalists, style of writing helps in drafting the apt pitch.

Email before you call

Always remember that the journalists are hounded with 10-15 calls from PR people everyday. It is highly unlikely that they would even remember your pitch over the phone. Plus, a journalist can’t dedicate more than 30 seconds to you over the phone in the midst of all the craziness happening in their day with PR calls, chasing stories and then filing them. How much of your story would you be able to share in these 30 seconds?

Emailing before you call, makes the journalist aware of all the details about your story and at the same time helps him/her relate better to what you are saying over the phone. The biggest advantage of doing this is that your call after a few hours or the next day works more or less as a follow-up. The journalist can confirm on the possibility of going ahead with your story, as he/she has already gone through the details in the email you shared earlier.

Give all the details but watch the length

Your first email to the journalist is going to decide the fate of your story. If this does not click, you have the least chance of turning around the journalist’s interest, when you call. While a journalist is reading your email and is finding it interesting enough, he/she is already thinking of the angle to pick-up for your story. Hence, it is better to share all the details about your project, your company/organization, yourself, objective of crowdfunding and plans for the future, so that the journalist has multiple angles to choose from. If your email is missing out on something that the journalist generally looks out for, he/she is very likely to just drop the story without bothering to ask you for those details. REMEMBER! Journalists are busy people and flooded with stories!

At the same time, detailed does not mean lengthy. Keep the pitch crisp and to the point. Get the best selling points out there and try including links for giving the journalist an option of digging in deeper. The apt email to the right journalist would have done 80% of the convincing work by the time you call the journalist. If it fits the bill perfectly, you might not even have to call and the journalist will revert with his/her positive interest in reply to your email itself.

You can figure out your different ways of dealing with a journalist, once you have built a level of bonding over working on multiple stories. However, for your first approach, consider this as your bible. One last signing-off tip, respect the journalist’s time and don’t bother him/her with aggressive follow-ups. If one email and call does not work for you, your story won’t get picked up irrespective of the number of times you call the journalist.   

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