Vol. 127 - NO. 39

Blog Startup CPG

SINCE 2019

Getting Noticed
by Trade Press

Elaine Watson is an award-winning journalist with more than 17 years’ experience in multimedia business-to-business journalism and events management, Elaine has covered a diverse range of topics from nutrigenomics to corporate espionage. She has helped to establish the site as a pre-eminent source of news and analysis on hot button issues from cultured meat to labeling conventions in plant-based foods and beverages. She is currently an Editor @ Food Navigator-USA. She can be reached at Elaine.Watson@wrbm.com.

Getting coverage by press is a great way to drive awareness of your brand or product. In this post, Elaine Watson breaks down how to get noticed by industry press. Here are her best tips:

 

#1: Spell out what the news angle is, and why it matters. Open with something like:

Hi Elaine, I’ve just launched a new company that is addressing what I think is a real white space in the breakfast cereal category…

OR

Hi Elaine, I’ve just launched a plant-based milk using a completely novel ingredient in the space that blows rivals out of the water in the nutrition or sustainability stakes…

 

#2: You need a different pitch for trade vs consumer publications.

It sounds obvious, but I get a lot of people sending out generic messages about 10 great ways to beat stress before mentioning a product at the bottom, or sending me random product samples in the mail without any accompanying note, contact details, or information, and it’s just a waste of time, money and packaging.

 

#3: Reach out to me as the Founder.

I love being approached directly by founders because in most cases, you’re going to be better at articulating what is special about what you do than someone else – you might not get a response, but if the writer is just ignoring you because of workload, he or she may well file it and return to it when they have more time.
So if you have time, identify a number of publications to target and contact the writers directly

 

#4: Make a great pitch.

When it comes to what makes a great pitch, if you have a novel product, business model, ingredient or technology, that may be enough to pique a journalist’s interest in and of itself. That’s pretty straightforward.
However, if your business is not sexy or newsworthy at first glance, you’ll have to find another angle:
· Alert a journalist to an issue you’ve experienced that might not be on his or her radar and might have broader industry ramifications.
· Maybe the price of one of your key raw materials has jumped through the roof.
· Maybe you have seen an uptick in consumer inquiries about an ingredient.
· Maybe your co-packer went out of business and it highlighted the importance of having a plan B.
· Maybe you heard an interesting anecdote from a retail buyer or a retailer has instituted a new policy, or changed payment terms and you’re pissed off about it. (In that case, it might not be something you want to put your name to, but it’s a way in to build a relationship with the journalist, and then you’re in a better position to talk about your business later on.)
The bottom line, is that if Coca-Cola commits to going 100% Non-GMO, that’s a big news story that could have broader industry significance. If Joe Blogg’s Gourmet Ice Cream in Santa Barbara gets Non-GMO project verification, no one really cares.

 

#5: Email!

I personally prefer being emailed than cold-called. If I’m called, I’ll nearly always ask that person to email me anyway so I can do a bit of research, and get my thoughts and questions together before we speak.

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