How to Be a Siren and Capture the Press : Under30CEO How to Be a Siren and Capture the Press : Under30CEO
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How to Be a Siren and Capture the Press

| July 11, 2013 | 6 Comments

Waterhouse-Ulysses-1Even Odysseus understands the power that seductive sirens possess.  With soothing songs and magical melodies, Greek mythology depicts sirens that foster the rare ability to lure sailors into submission.

When it comes to building a relationship with the press, you too can capitalize on the siren’s talents. From zeroing in to pitching and following up, you can lure the press in by applying the lessons learned from these enchanting, mythical charmers

Learn to Perform

Sirens captivate nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices.  Tune-up for the press by drafting intriguing offers and storylines.  Keep in mind that these people’s inboxes are flooded with pitches every day, if you want them to respond then you’ve got to catch their attention with something different and interesting.

Pitch letters, press releases and fact sheets are all acceptable formats- just be sure to set a sweet melody by providing only clear, concise and factual information.  Remember to point out the suggested value of your pitch as well; describe why you think his/her audience will be interested in your proposed topic and why they would not want to be without it. 

Flirt Freely

Sirens do not discriminate when it comes to capturing an audience.   In addition to seeking out press that covers print and television beats, do not forget about local bloggers and podcast hosts (who tend to be more attainable).

When seeking out the perfect target, zero in on your desired audience.  Be sure to only approach press that reports on topics related to your niche and who already have the attention of the audience that you are trying to reach.

Expose Yourself Pitch

From mermaid-like tales to bird feathers, mythology has depicted sirens in a variety of forms; however, overall lack of clothing seems to be a common factor in each description.  Expose your pitch to the press by providing relevant statistics and inspiring quotes to enhance your offer.

If possible, pitch a trending topic or twist the concept in a different, unique (but honest) light. Another thing to consider: exclusivity; offering the story to one news source at a time may be more time consuming, but it will make your offer more enticing.

Don’t (Over) Kill

Sirens have a bad rap for mesmerizing sailors to the point that they drown or starve; there even have been cases where they were accused of cannibalism.  While you probably don’t consider the press to be a tasty delight, be sure not to overkill the experience with continuous follow-up emails or a bombardment of faxes and calls.

During your initial reach express any necessary deadlines and provide multiple ways through which you can be contacted (phone, email, Twitter, etc.).  Wait at least 5 days before you follow up, the press is busy and coming off as nagging is the perfect way to kill a relationship.

The bonus side to offering exclusivity is that your follow up will generally be accepted and responded to.  Telling someone you are holding the pitch just for them and their audience will likely make them more inclined to respond back with a yes or no response.  In short: Be available, not annoying.

What other ways can you captivate the press?  Share your siren tips below!

Kelly Gregorio writes about entrepreneurial trends and tips while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a provider of merchant cash advances. You can read her daily business blog here.

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  • Daniel DiPiazza

    Nice observations, Kelly. And I’ll add that some of my most valuable business training were the acting classes I took. Allows me to emotionally connect from an honest place…and that’s what leads to sales.

  • Mike Darche

    “In short: Be available, not annoying.”–An important distinction in this context. We often hear “The squeaky wheel gets the oil”. This might work to catch someone’s attention but it can be devastating to a relationship. I think a five+ day follow up might be a little excessive because you want to demonstrate your interest and appreciation, but you raise some great ideas here, Kelly!

  • Kelly Gregorio

    Thanks for reading and for your encouraging words Mike and Daniel—

    Daniel, you never know where business training will take place, do you? Love the point of connecting emotionally, thank you!

  • cesar romero

    Thanks Kelly for this great article. Definitely emotional connection is key to entice your audience to take action on your value proposition. I think how you tell a story is essential in making that emotional connection; how does your story relate to your audience? Just like sirens captive sailors – your message should captive your audience.

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