Source Bottle is one of the best kept secrets for Journalists and Bloggers, it allows us to find content we are looking for, it can help put us in contact with experts we may be looking for and in our case it makes it easy for us to access great startup stories!
So first of all, if you are a startup business and you are reading this, we suggest you get over to the Source Bottle website and create an account as we know quite a few startups that have received coverage in various business publications because of responding to a callout on the site. You can also follow them at twitter @SourceBottle.
So, what exactly is going to help you get your story covered by websites, blogs and publications when responding to a call out on Source Bottle? Below we have put together our three tips which we personally look for when we are going through the responses we receive from a call out for contributions.
1. Read the Brief and Follow the Instructions
It is crazy how many people don’t do this. Why would you waste the opportunity to get your story out there by not doing something as simple and straight forward as this? For instance we currently have an active callout at the moment which has instructions for businesses to provide their press release on a word doc along with a couple of high res images. There are good reasons that Editors, Journalists and Bloggers ask for things in a certain way. Don’t let something a small as not following instructions clearly ruin your chances.
2. Write a Press Release and Be Creative
When you have a look and see that 13, 000 people are following Source Bottle on twitter, this means that they have a lot of daily users and members on the site. So you are competing with lots of businesses the same as you out there, and guess what, the one with the most interesting angle, best call to action and overall story will be the one that gets onto a website or featured in the newspaper. For example, nobody really cares that you have just launched an online store selling Apple products, but if you have launched an online store selling Apple products at 50% of the recommended retail price you create a unique selling point and something newsworthy. Also you should write all press releases in third person, almost in the same way you would expect to read it published. A lot of the time you may find that this is basically what will be published with a few minor tweaks. Also try to keep it to 300 – 400 words max. Nobody likes to read an essay.
3. Respond to your emails and phone calls
Most of the professionals posting callouts on Source Bottle are working to tight deadlines. Make it easy for them to fist of all get in contact with you and secondly, make sure someone gets back to them as soon as possible with information. You miss the deadline, you miss getting published. Harsh we know, but that’s why it is called a deadline.
You and your story is what helps form the culture of your business, make sure that translates into what you are sending across. Aim to inspire, endeavour to educate and always be sure to try and build as much rapport with the reporter as possible, because if you are an expert in an area and they know that, you will be the first person they call when they need to write an article on that topic.