Using Crowdfunding to Build PR Buzz

It’s easy to think of PR and crowdfunding as being integral to each other in terms of using PR to push for greater contributions, but crowdfunding is also a great tool for building earned PR buzz.

Some clever organizations are starting to leverage their crowdfunding campaigns as stand alone PR activities – and it’s working.  If you think about all of the stories in the news about who’s crowdfunding what, it shouldn’t be any surprise that this is becoming a successful strategy. When you tie this to a philanthropic cause and an innovative way to engage customers, this is a great time to launch a campaign that journalists will deem newsworthy.

When you pitch the media to cover your crowdfunding campaign, keep these tips in mind:

1. Contact the right journalist at the right time. Get to know the journalist before pitching. If they’ve already covered your topic really recently, it might not be a great fit. Make sure the journalist you’re reaching out to has some degree of interest or history writing about your story.

2. Keep it short. Journalists receive more pitches per day than you can fathom. Break your email pitch into two parts: the short story up top, and additional details below that you should clearly communicate they only need to read if the short story caught their interest.  If you save them time, they’ll be in a much better mood when they’re reading your email.

3. Keep it simple. The KISS rule definitely applies here (keep it simple, silly!)  Provide quotes, data, links, names, titles, etc. in your initial email in concise bullet points. The more the journalist has to look for details or follow up with you to get the necessary information, the less chance you’ll make it into an article.  Make their job easy for them.

4. Follow up after a week, and only once. Unless they ask you to, pestering a journalist is a sure way to get ignored, and potentially blacklisted. If you don’t get a positive response within a few days, follow up once, and if you don’t receive an answer after this, focus your efforts elsewhere. Don’t take it personally, it just means your story isn’t a fit for them.  If they change their mind, they’ll call you.