One of the things we’re spending alot of our time on nowadays is publicity. And since we’re doing all this on a budget and doing it on our own, it’s been a very educational experience. For our publicity effort, the central message we’ve been trying to get out is the February Pancake Food Fight. Although it’d be nice if people were interested just because we have a new site and we’re out there, we’ve heard that you need a better angle than that so we decided to launch our publicity around the Food Fights.
One of the first things we did was come up with a publicity plan for the contest. Who and what avenues would we hit? When? With what message? Since we’re PR newbies, we grabbed a copy of the Seattle Times Media Access Guide (pdf) and started learning the basics about press releases. We constructed our very first press release by modeling the structure after the examples in the guide and others we’ve seen from startups. After some helpful editing from friends, here’s the version we ended up with: Menuism Pancake Food Fight Press Release (pdf)/(html).
With the PR statement in hand, we started contacting media outlets. This was about as difficult as we thought would be. We had an inkling it would be hard to get their attention, but we thought we would get more bites than we did. We determined that we need to get better at tracking down the right contacts, following up with them over the phone and finding ways to reach them in person. I have a feeling it’s a lot easier when you have more “PR credibility” like some of the experienced firms.
Some Success – a Video and Dinner Interview!
Well, PR has been hard, but it was definitely fun thanks to the fine folks at Windy Bits and Technology Evangelist. We had an awesome time doing a dinner interview at Harmony Grill which resulted in this fine article Windy Bits: Dinner with Menuism. And in the virtual world, we had the opportunity to do a video interview with Technology Evangelist through their new webcam technique. That was definitely an interesting experience since it was a bit awkward talking to the screen/webcam, but it was quite fun once we got a little warmed up. Check it out and let us know what you think!
Anyone have any publicity tips or stories? Let us know!