Getting Media Coverage

This post is about my software product Hyperion. You can read more about it here.

Through no action on my part, I ended up with two positive news articles written about Hyperion. As an experiment, I decided to try to get some more. With non-profits using Hyperion in production for the first time, it seemed like an opportune time.

I had two ideas:

  1. Create a formal press release and use a channel like PRWeb to distribute it.
  2. Reach out to individual news organizations and pitch a story.

I decided to try both.

The Press Release

I reached out to someone in my network with experience writing press releases, gave them the general idea of what I wanted, and asked them to put something together. I looked it over, made some edits, and submitted it to PRWeb. The submission to PRWeb cost me $289. In return, they would publish it to their site, send it out for syndication, and email a list of journalists about the story.

A week later it was published, and was soon syndicated in 120 places. Here are some examples. That sounds impressive, but it only led to 40 engagements (clicks through to my site), and didn’t cause a blip in overall traffic. As far as I can tell, no one wrote original articles as a direct result of the press release.

I was disappointed. That said, I did get two other wins:

  1. High-ranking search terms. If you search “Hyperion homelessness” on Google, results 3 and 4 are syndications of the press release.
  2. Once you have a press release, it gives other news organizations something to work with.

Direct Outreach

I had a few ideas for how to find interested publications:

  1. Regional (Hyperion is based in the Tampa Bay Area)
  2. My education (I graduated from UF)
  3. Homelessness

I was hoping for a large list, but only ended up with five. I’m sure someone with industry knowledge could have done a much better job.

Where possible, I tried to email particular people rather than submitting a form.

I ended up reaching out to five organizations:

  1. Tampa Bay Business Journal - No response.
  2. Florida Trend Magazine - responded more than a month later. They’re currently working on an article for the May 2020 issue. They asked for pictures.
  3. The Tampa Bay Times - They responded and seemed interested, but the reporter was a no show for our scheduled meeting and didn’t respond to a request to reschedule.
  4. The Alligator (UF’s student newspaper) - A reporter responded, asked some follow-up questions, and wrote an article.
  5. Tampa Bay Newswire - Added a link to our press release in their email newsletter.

I was pleasantly surprised. The only direct benefits I have seen so far:

  1. More high ranking search terms. For instance, “Zak Miller UF.”
  2. I could include something like, “As seen in Florida Trend Magazine” or something like it on a website.

All in all, I’m glad I spent the time looking into getting press coverage. I learned a lot.

That said, it won’t be something I prioritize going forward.

If I did want more press coverage, then I would write up a press release, publish it to my website, and then reach out to publications directly with a link. The formal press release via PRWeb didn’t seem worth the money.

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