Question: How to Get PR Coverage?

October 15th, 2008 by dusty

We received a LOT of positive feedback from our article in the paper yesterday, including a great set of questions from Heather Nelson, Program Manager for Entrepreneurship at Metro Community College here in Omaha.

Question: Did you go through the traditional route and send in a PR announcement to get the coverage? (If so, can you share with me to share with the students)

Or, did it come by being at the Pitch session on Thursday and networking with the OWH reporter?

Or, a different way?

I always like to know the story behind the story so I can tell the students, “How did they do that”? It helps to answer the “WIFM” question that keeps the students more interested in how education (at least my way of education) is real-life training on what you need to do to get noticed.

As for the press, we definitely did NOT go the traditional PR route. In fact, our approach to marketing in general is very non-traditional.

The short story is, we met Stefanie (the reporter) through our involvement with entrepreneurship here in Omaha. I’m involved with a number of initiatives, each centered around this idea of putting Omaha on the map as a place where entrepreneurship and startups can not only happen.. but flourish. This started with my involvement with the Chamber’s entrepreneurship organization “Cornstalks,” which I have been involved with from its inception. Additionally, I helped organize Omaha’s first Barcamp event, and I am working with Jeff on Silicon Prairie News.

Its not “networking” in the traditional sense, its more genuine than that. Its building and being a part of a community at a very grass roots level.

It’s through these involvements that we were able to tell our story, establish ourselves as a company of innovators and leaders, and meet people like Stefanie. At that point, getting into the paper was almost as easy as making a phone call and saying, “I think it’s time to be in the paper.”

Like I said, our marketing efforts are non-traditional, at best, and are less focused on “selling widgets” or “signing contracts,” and more focused on “building community.” Through channels like our blog, Twitter, and now UStream, we’re wanting to build a following of people who truly care about our company, believe in our story, and want us to be successful.

Our advice is to point your students in the direction of people and super-successful businesses like Daegola or 37Signals. These companies are leveraging community and buzz to generate “real” press and media coverage.. and that’s what matters. For more info please visit :

Update: Stefanie gives some insight into how to get some press coverage and how to get twitter followers