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PR Tips From a Tech Reporter: “5 Things That Grab My Attention”

Lauren Eichmann

According to Jeff Vance, publishing is in crisis mode. Vance should know, as he’s a freelancer who writes for a range of top-tier publications like CIO Magazine, Network World and Forbes. He also runs his own copywriting and content-marketing business.

It’s a reality that magazines, newspapers and trade publications are cutting back on staff these days. Editors are being asked to vet more and more stories, while journalists are being asked to cover broader and broader beats, says Vance. At the same time, the publications they work for expect them to maintain high-quality copy; otherwise, they risk losing readers.

What it boils down to is that journalists often don’t have time to read pitches anymore. They don’t have time to evaluate vendors. They don’t have time to do anything other than chasing page views and “unique impressions.”

So what information grabs the attention of reporters and editors? Here are some things that get Jeff’s attention in pitches.

Honest Discussions of How You Differ From the Competition

“Our closest competitors are x, y and z, and here’s what we do differently.” If you can accurately place your client in the market space and differentiate them, I’ll pay attention. It seems to be surprisingly hard to do this.

Even better: if you are aware of and mention not just the big elephant incumbents, but the other startups alongside you going after the same game, differentiating yourself from them as well.

Naming Some of Your Customers

Better yet: customers who’ve gone on the record to sing your praises.

Decent Amounts of VC Funding

Better yet: real numbers about the revenue you are actually generating through the sales of products or services.

Providing Real, Accurate Market Predictions

This means that you know the size of the market today and are projecting out based on a realistic assessment of historical trends. Can you take a flier and go big? Sure, but only if you pinpoint the changing factors that will spur that growth.

Even better: aligning your own sales growth with market predictions.

A Management Team With Real Pedigree

If your management team has held senior-level positions at impressively successful companies, this means something.

Better yet: a team with a track record of successful exits, either by IPO or acquisition.

Jeff provides other tips and tricks on his website,