[WAMA] Conrad Egusa: PR Expert, Publicize CEO & Former VentureBeat Writer - Thurs April 16th 6PM EST

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Hey Warriors!

I’m Conrad Egusa, the Founder of Publicize and a Guest Contributor at TheNextWeb and TechCrunch. Earlier I was a writer at VentureBeat and founded an angel-investor backed startup in Silicon Valley. I'm also a Mentor at The Founder Institute.

I will be doing an Ask Me Anything session right here on the Warrior Forum on Thursday, April 16th on how your company can get media coverage.

I want to share everything I know about PR and the media with you. My hope is that after this AMA, you will feel comfortable contacting publications like The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch and others.

What questions can you ask me? You can ask me anything, but here are some ideas:

What makes for a newsworthy announcement?
What is the biggest mistake you have seen people make when contacting the media?
When should I contact the media?
What is the difference between an "Exclusive" and an "Embargo"
Why is it important to use social proof when contacting the media?
Should I call journalists or email them?
How many times should I email a journalist about an announcement?
What are some of your PR secrets that you use when contacting the media?

I’ll do my best to answer anything you send. I’m looking forward to hanging out on the 14th!

Conrad Egusa

Note: You must be a War Room member to watch the replay. The transcript is available for free below.
#14th #7pm #april #ceo #conrad #egusa #est #expert #publicize #tue #venturebeat #writer
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    • Profile picture of the author danieljb
      We're really excited to be holding this event with Conrad. He is a passionate, engaging speaker who will be answer your questions and show you how to get more media attention for your startup.

      Conrad is a guest contributor for TechCrunch, VentureBeat and TheNextWeb, and a Mentor at The Founder Institute, ANDI (Asociación Nacional de Empresarios de Colombia), and the Spanish accelerator Zarpamos. He brings a huge amount of knowledge and expertise regarding PR for startups and is here to answer your questions about Public relations and how you can start getting noticed by major publications.

      Note: You must be a War Room member to watch the replay. The transcript is available for free below.

      Transcript of the Warrior TV: Warrior Ask Me Anything Event with Conrad Egusa

      Welcome to Warrior T.V. This is Warrior Ask Me Anything where we bring to you the world’s best internet marketers and online entrepreneurs for you to interact with. Today I am very excited to bring to you Conrad Egusa. Conrad is the founder or publicize.co which is a company looking to disrupt the P.R. industry. He is also a guest contributor on major publications such as Techcrunch.com and the Next Web. Conrad spends time as a mentor at the Founder institute where he helps starts ups grow and get more exposure.

      Welcome to the event Conrad.


      Conrad: Thank you so much for having me.


      Alaister: So Conrad tell us a little bit about your background and what brought you to the PR industry and being the founder of publicize.co today?


      Conrad: My background first started because I raised funding for a start up in Silicon Valley right after University. And then after I moved to New York and wrote for a tech site called Venture Beat. And it seemed like the industry was in many ways broken for early stage start ups and a lot of my experience has been with media and with writing articles and also helping start ups as much as I can with advice on how they can get covered on sites like Tech Crunch and the New York Times because I think a lot of people look at this as kind of a black box and my hope is to kind of expose how start ups can approach the media.


      Alaister: That is really interesting, when we first announced this event with you, one of the biggest questions and most common questions that came in was, ìI have got a small business and I am looking to get exposureî however we are talking here about major publications like you have got press on huge publications for both your clients and yourself like Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Business Insider and things like that. How do people go about getting hits on these sort of publications without any contacts or without any kind of network?


      Conrad: The biggest assumption people make is they think it is a requirement that they know the journalist firsthand for them to cover their company. I have seen so many different data points whether it is a sixteen year old or a sixty year old in Australia or anywhere in the world who would email someone at Tech Crunch in San Francisco or the New York times in New York, who they have never met before but if they approach PR the right way they will be featured on these publications.

      I think there are a lot of ways to go about it. I think the most important points are identifying the announcement and making sure to properly contact whichever journalist they are speaking too.


      Alaister: So I really want to get a lot deeper into the actual process and what you talked about in terms of approaching but just before we do that, tell us a little bit about Publicize.co. On your website and we spoke about this before, you mentioned you are looking to disrupt the PR industry. How are you looking to achieve that?


      Conrad: Well publicize is looking to disrupt the PR industry because historically PR firms charge $10,000 a month with six month retainers and $60,000 is a lot for a start up just getting started. So the idea was as opposed to this cost could we charge closer to $400 and make it month to month to really minimize risk for companies and essentially, ideally, provide world class PR services to this market that was historically underserved.


      Alaister: Yes that is fascinating. So what you have done essentially is address the major pain point within the PR industry which I guess is affordability. So the cost of being able to achieve world class PR and get experts working on a start up PR campaign is often hugely expensive. So you guys have been able to bring that price down and still being able to offer that same quality of service.


      Conrad: Oh absolutely.


      Alaister: Great. So letís just talk about the actual process of getting press. So you mentioned earlier that one of the largest misconceptions or misassumptions within the industry is that people need large networks and actual personal relationships with journalists or the media and you mentioned that is not the case. How would you go about approaching some of these journalists that you may never have spoken to before in trying to pitch a story to them?


      Conrad: Yeah I think the biggest thing is if you do want your company to be featured on a leading site like the Wall Street Journal, you have to have something to announce, a really specific story. And when I was writing at Venture Beat I used to have a lot of friends come to me and they would say, ìConnor can you write about my company?î And I would say, ìSure. What do you have to announce?î And they would say, ìWell we donít have anything to announce.î And I would say, ìWell if you donít have anything to announce even though you are my friend I canít write about that because there is no story to announce.î

      So a lot of people then ask, ìWell what would make good announcements?î And traditionally for New York companies good announcements would be a new product launch; it could be a new milestone as well. It could be for example funding, maybe you raised $100,000 from friends and family. It could be a new version of a platform but your goal is to kind of identify to these announcements and right after notify media publications asking them to cover that specific announcement. But it is really important to differentiate between someone like Tech Crunch covering your company as opposed to them covering your specific announcement.


      Alaister: So you mentioned being able to come up with a specific story whether it is a new company, a launch or a new product or maybe funding. Would you go in just announcing this specific event or how would you wrap that into an actual vision or a story to make it appealing? I mean I imagine a lot of these journalists receive hundreds if not thousands of emails on a daily basis. How do you go about trying to stand out from the crowd and making it appealing to a specific journalist?


      Conrad: Yeah I think the biggest thing is taking whatever announcement or story that you have and try to make it as large as possible. And try to tie it into larger trends. So as an example, I had founded a co working space in South America and we were in Tech Crunch, BBC and a lot of these large sites and co working spaces arenít particularly exciting right? There are hundreds of new co working spaces founded throughout the world ever day. There is no reason the Financial Times should care about that but the story that I proposed wasnít about the co working space. The story was about turning the city [06:32 Medellin] into the Silicon Valley of South America. That was the big story it was about the city not the co working space.

      So usually what I tell founders is like right now they are going to be launching a product or a new company; they are going to have something to announce. That is not that interesting to journalists. What is interesting is do you know how founders when you are about to go to sleep or you are in the gym, and you are kind of day dreaming about how in three years you are going to have like a 500 person company right and you are going to be taking over the world; that vision you are dreaming about, that is what you want to express in your messaging to journalists because that is what makes for a really interesting story.


      Alaister: Yeah I think that is often something that is often overseen by a lot of founders and companies trying to get PR. So this is talking about trying to latch on to sort of macro trends and sort of trying to explain how your company or feature or new release fits into that entire macro trend, is that right?


      Conrad: Absolutely.


      Alaister: Great. So I am just going to have a look at some of the questions that have come in from the audience. I know there is a whole bunch of stuff that we could go through but I want to make sure that we get through some of these questions that the community has submitted. So I have got a question here from Nick B and he says, ìYou are a guest contributor on a lot of major publications. What was the process of being able to get the attention of these major publications and how did you position yourself in a way that you could regularly contribute to these sites?î


      Conrad: I think the first thing is to recognize each of the leading publications in general, there is one editor who is responsible for guest contributions. For example at Tech Crunch that would be John Scheiber and each different publication is obviously a different editor. What I would recommend people do is to not only email that editor asking if they could write the guest article but also have the already specific guest article written because your goal if you think about these writers they are receiving hundreds upon hundreds of different submissions, as opposed to having them go back and forth it makes it very easy to say, ìHey do you like my guest article? If so I would love you to have the exclusive right to publish it.î Then over time by the time you have reached out to them the third or fourth time they already know you, you have had a good relationship with them and you can kind of go from there to say, ìHey can I talk with you about a series of articles?î and it makes it much easier to go forward.

      But that is how I would recommend to kind of get your foot in the door and start that initial relationship.


      Alaister: Okay. You mentioned the word ìExclusiveî article. I have heard this term thrown around, exclusive article, embargo and things like that. Tell me a little bit more about what this means and how it can be used to leverage getting more press and more attention?


      Conrad: Yeah. So as an example letís say a company decides to launch and they get featured on Tech Crunch and a week later they email Venture Beat and they say, ìHey we are launching, would you want to cover the launch announcement?î What often would happen is the editor of Venture Beat or the New York Times, would say, ìHey this sounds like an interesting story but I just Google searched this and Tech Crunch covered this one week ago and it is essentially old news.î So this is obviously a challenge that companies make and because of that there is essentially two options.

      One would be to create an embargo. So what an entrepreneur would do is they would email 50 journalists and they would say, ìWe are about to announce our launch on Wednesday at 12:00pm. Would you be interested in covering it? If so you have to agree to that specific time, you canít cover it before hand.î The benefit of this is if many people cover it, it is obviously a big win for your company but the challenge that you have is that if you are a journalist at the Wall Street Journal and you have to agree to an embargo you know that you are sharing the story with 30, 40 publications right.

      So the way that you can break in and make yourself stand out is offer an exclusive, which basically means that they have first right to publish the article. And it is obviously very appealing because in todayís world the strongest publications are the ones that break the most stories as opposed to kind of following other ones. So which is why for announcements that are lower than I would say seed run investments, so if you are raising less than 2 million dollars, maybe you are launching a new product, in general I would recommend an exclusive as opposed to creating an embargo.


      Alaister: So with an exclusive would you recommend creating a priority list of the journalists and the specific publications and then trying to offer that exclusive, initially to maybe the publication that is most suitable, got the most reach and then kind of going down that list and then offering it later? Is that kind of the approach?


      Conrad: Absolutely. So ideally letís say you are about to make an announcement for your company and you say, ìIdeally we want to be on the Wall Street Journal first, New York times second and Tech Crunch third.î And what you would do is list out maybe on Monday there could be five journalist emails from the New York Times you would contact and you would follow up with them later that day. If you havenít received a response, the next day you could email the Wall Street Journal, the following day Tech Crunch etcetera.

      And by doing this you are obviously optimizing your chance to be featured on these leading sites and also if down the road, the reason why it is important is if Wall Street Journal ends up covering it and you emailed Tech Crunch in the past you are very clear about why you canít give them the exclusive anymore which is they took too long to respond. As opposed to if you emailed Tech Crunch and Venture Beat on the same day with an exclusive and they both respond right away saying they want the exclusive, you are in a really hard bind because clearly you canít give it to both of them. So someone is going to be upset with you. So as much as possible you want to avoid that situation.


      Alaister: Yeah definitely. So with, I am having a look at some of the other questions that have come in and there is a whole bunch. And historically in the past a lot of founders have used PR submission sites, online submission sites and syndication sites such as PR web and things like that. How do you see those submission services fitting in the PR industry? Are the effective, are they useful? What is your take on them?


      Conrad: There are a lot of misconceptions about PR submission sites and this is a fantastic question. The biggest challenge is historically if someone wanted to get the New York Times to find out about their article they might send something to a PR submission site and maybe one of the editors would see it and they would be interested about it. The problem is today I have never met a journalist who has ever seen something on a PR newswire etcetera and say, ìHey that is a really interesting story, we want to cover it.î If you want a journalist to cover something you have to email them about it specifically.

      Now so PR submission sites right now, I think people could use them effectively for example to kind of cement a place in history for the announcement. Obviously I think they can rank well for search engines. So I think people should use them perhaps for that purpose but in terms of hey we want to use a PR submission site because we want to get on Tech Crunch or whatever o one of these leading sites, I donít know any instance of that ever happening.


      Alaister: Okay, yeah you mentioned the most effective way is actually emailing a specific journalist. Would you recommend maybe calling them as well if you have got their contact number or do you think email is the most effective form of communication?


      Conrad: I really donít recommend calling at least any journalist in the US. I think this does vary throughout the world. So as an example Latin America, people are more accustomed to receiving phone calls with story pitches, but in terms of the US as much as possible, I would avoid the phone at all costs. And I recommend email.

      And one of the things that is important is always to send one follow up email as well because there are so many journalists who could be interested in your story and they just get swamped throughout the day. It is interesting because I think about it right now, I just did an announcement for Publicize. We launched this program, we got on Tech Crunch and I emailed other journalists and right after I think there were about ten specific journalists that I specifically emailed. Letís say thirty minutes after, and the next day I didnít receive a response from any of them but I sent one follow up and essentially all of them responded. So it just goes to show you there are just so many people and I am sure you have seen with your Gmail if you get 200 emails it is kind of like if you donít respond right away it is kind of in a wasteland so donít go overboard with follow up emails but I always recommend at least one saying, ìHey I wanted to send a quick follow up. I know you are busy if you donít have the time to respond, thanks for your timeî and your name. I think that helps a bunch.


      Alaister: Yeah what is interesting is sending an email at a specific time. So there is a PR hack that I read about a few months ago, I canít remember exactly where I read it but it was basically talking about following all these journalists that you want to have a relationship with on Twitter and then trying to understand and figure out when they are Tweeting. And if they are Tweeting at that time, maybe send an email at that time because you know perhaps they are actually online on their computer. So that is an interesting PR hack that I read about. Is that something that you have tried in the past?


      Conrad: I think the best thing, what I would always recommend to people when you are contacting journalists earlier in the week is always better; earlier in the morning as well. Always mention in the subject line as well their name. I always think it is funny, so many people send out an email where the headline is ìFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEî and those are always ignored. And offering an exclusive as well in the subject line; I think your response rate is going to be degrees higher. I know a lot of people who create these long lists of journalists and they spend a lot of time following up with them and I think that can be effective but it can also take a lot of time. And I think if you just follow those three other things in terms of time, using their name and offering an exclusive, it will be more effective.


      Alaister: Yeah that is great advice. So with this show Warrior Ask Me Anything we receive heaps of emails all the time from different people trying to get on the show and things like that. And you sent us an email asking to get on the show but there was something about your email that really kind of resonated with me and with our team here and that is why we are here today. Tell us a little bit about the process of writing that initial contact email and maybe writing that press release. Are there certain techniques or strategies that you use to increase response rate and things like that?


      Conrad: Absolutely that is a really good question. I think the biggest thing is using social proof as much as possible. So for example at Venture Beat I used to always see people who would say something like, ìHi Conrad, my name is John. I am a bootstrap entrepreneur.î And I would think well there are 50 million bootstrap entrepreneurs in the US alone, it doesnít really differentiate you. But if I received an email that said like, ìHi Conrad, my name is John, I am a 15 year old entrepreneurî or ìI am a 65 year old entrepreneurî or saying ìI am a white [17:38 commonator] alumni.î These things really stand out to you and I think the response rate, you are going to be much more likely to respond which is the same thing I would use in my email whether I might introduce myself as a former Venture Beat writer or a mentor at x,y,z organization just because even though we havenít met youíd probably know of the organization.


      Alaister: How would you go about actually writing the press release? I know writing a press release is very different to other bits of copy so within our audience and community we have a lot of copywriting specialists. They spend a lot of time writing email copy, optimized for conversions, or landing page copy. How does this different from actually writing a press release and trying to send it out to the press?


      Conrad: Yeah I think the biggest thing is one of the mistakes entrepreneurs make is they write a press release thinking that they are essentially writing their story to their friend or to their peer and a press release is for a very specific audience which is really the media and their role is essentially to take that information and to turn it into an article. Actually a lot of editors will really get upset at journalists if the article itself looks too similar to the press release.

      So I think the first point is recognize a press release is a very different document and there is a specific format. Traditionally in a press release the title outlines the very larger story so I think I sent a press release earlier. In this case there was a company called Linguily that I had launched that had gotten featured on Tech Crunch and some other sites. And they were the Google Chrome extension which there are many Google Chrome extensions but we really emphasize was that they were trying to change the way languages were learnt online, that was really the big story. And I would encourage any person with their company to think about again where the big mission in the company and not where they are today but where they expect to be in five years.


      Alaister: I have got a question here that is pretty interesting from A.J. and he says when he is pitching to press and publications he often finds email addresses like stories at xyz.com or pitch@xyz.com and he never finds the actual email address of a specific journalist. How would you recommend firstly trying to find these personal email addresses and also secondly would you recommend emailing it to these more generic email addresses that people put out there?


      Conrad: Yeah. I think to answer your first question, a few years ago I had spent about 100 hours my team collecting a list of all the journalists of different Tech publications, I am happy to share it, it is free to use. I think that is definitely a good place to start. I think the second question about emailing tips etcetera when I was at Venture Beat I would say about half the stories came from emailing tips@venturebeat.com. So I think a lot of people when they look at these say, ìHey no one is ever going to read the tips lineî and they would be shocked to find that so many of the stories every day are ones that came through that line so I really recommend people not shy away from that.


      Alaister: Great, okay. Yeah so just in regards to that list that you mentioned we will connect afterwards and see if we can get that and share it with our audience. I think that will be hugely valuable.

      Would recommend contacting different journalists within the same publication and CCing each person? How do you approach that? I know that can be a difficult thing; you are not sure who to contact. Would you contact them all, CC everyone so they know that everyone is being contacted or how would you approach that?


      Conrad: Oh I wouldnít recommend CCing. I would recommend contacting many journalists at each publication and I think the biggest thing is if you do receive two responses just being really respectful and saying, ìHey I just -î And notifying the other. I think the worst thing would be if two journalists start spending time writing an article and they donít even realize that two are covering the same story, but as long as you are upfront as soon as possible there isnít an issue emailing multiple journalists at the same site.


      Alaister: Yeah right, that makes a lot of sense. So I just want to talk about, previously we mentioned actually writing a press release and I want to delve a lot deeper. I have got a lot of questions here in regards to the actual format of the press release. So we mentioned a little bit about the title, trying to talk about the macro trends and things like that. Would you be able to go into a bit more detail into talking about the actual format of a press release and how to go about actually writing one?


      Conrad: Absolutely and I am happy to. I think the biggest thing you will notice, I am not sure if you have the press release up for a company called Linguily but what you will notice about the title is that it includes the bigger mission of the company and it also includes social proof which in this case is that one of the founders has a Stanford PhD. And it was really funny when I first spoke to the founders it was only at the real end when they said, ìHey Conrad, I donít know if it is important, but I have a PhD from Stanford, should we even include that?î And I said, ìShould we even include it? That is crazy we should lead with it.î

      And what I recommend to all founders is if there is something remarkable about you whether it be your age, whether it be a company worked, if you are a former Google engineer, whether it be an award that you have won or a University you have attended, to really include that as much as possible in the beginning because the reality of a press release is a journalist will likely read three paragraphs down by the time they realize whether they want to cover the story or not.


      Alaister: Yeah it is interesting. It is funny how a lot of the time you donít even realize that social proof is important or should be included in the press release, but when you really work with someone t o try and get that out a light bulb goes off and you realize, hey that is really important and really interesting a lot of the time.


      Conrad: Yeah and I remember this specific case when I was writing. There was this entrepreneur about to launch this company and actually I didnít even think the company was that particularly exciting and I remember talking to the editor and saying ìWell what is the company about?î And he kind of said something like, ìWell it doesnít really matter this is Bill Gateís old assistant.î So that was the social proof and it was almost like it is such an interesting story about the founder that we are going to write about it no matter what.

      And one of the things that is important for entrepreneurs to understand is your chances to be featured on the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal especially if you are a start up, it is in general about half of your chances are based on the company itself about its mission, about how well did you design the company, all these things and half of it is basically the social proof of the founding team. And it is important to recognize that hey if you, for example have some weaknesses in your company well then focus more on the founding team and vice versa. Just something important to keep in mind.


      Alaister: Really interesting. A lot of the time I think a lot of the press release is centered around the actual story of the release or the funding instead of the social proof as you mentioned.

      So I want to ask you a little bit about your role in the founder institute. So you are a mentor there. You obviously spend a lot of time with a lot of different starts up in a lot of different industries in a lot of different I suppose stages in their business. What are some common trends you see for successful start ups and ones that are not so successful what are some bits of advice that you give them as well as things that you see them doing right or incorrectly?


      Conrad: Yeah I would say the best entrepreneurs and start ups that I have found they do a great job of seeking negative feedback. So what happens with most entrepreneurs you speak with is they say, ìHey can you give me some advice about somethingî and you give them your opinion, and to them they think well that doesnít exactly align to what I am thinking so I am kind of going to shift it away anyway. I think the best founders are very proactive with finding negative feedback from people and they are able to implement those changes very quickly.


      Alaister: Okay. So at publicize.co I think you have got a team of about 12 is that correct?


      Conrad: Yeah we just took on some more, we are about 15 ñ 16 people now.


      Alaister: That is great. How did you go about hiring your first person and when were you at the stage where you said hey we really need to expand the team and how did you go about finding that very first hire?


      Conrad: Yeah that is a great question. I was somewhat fortunate in that I invested in new publication and I found that the best people to be involved with PR are people with backgrounds in journalism because I think they have a lot of empathy and they are used to giving pitches so it is easy to reverse engineer it. So because of that, even right now when we are looking for new people I always have I would say, three to five people in mind, even if I am not looking to hire in the next two to four weeks just knowing hey well maybe in three or four months this person would be a great fit for the company. So I recommend any entrepreneur who is building their company do the same. So it is not, wow we need someone today we have to start looking today, so rather they always have someone in mind.


      Alaister: Yes put your feelers out there and when the time comes you know who to approach and when to approach it and things like that.

      Conrad: Exactly, exactly.


      Alaister: I have got a question here from Veronica K and she is asking, with a lot of your press releases and your emails do you write most of them yourself? Do you outsource that or do you get someone in your team to write it? Who goes about wiring them? Do you feel maybe if it is a story about your startup, you are the closest to your startup so you are the most effective at creating a press release? Who goes about writing it?


      Conrad: One of the things at publicize is I feel we have to eat our own dog food. What I mean by that is we recently featured I mentioned on Tech Crunch and a few months ago on Forbes. And a lot of people they say, ìConrad you must have reached out through a friend of your at Forbes to get that article.î And I said, ìNo I just told the marketing team and the editorial team to put me through the same process they put any client through.î And because of that it kind of goes back to my point that if you follow the right process you donít necessarily, you are going to get some great media coverage. Right now we have a growing editorial team where not only is the press release written but it is also then reviewed by an editor but I hope that answers your question.


      Alaister: Yeah sure. What are your thoughts about hiring remote staff or maybe freelancers to help with the press release writing?


      Conrad: Yeah I think it varies by companies. One of the things I really try to get across is that an entrepreneur can get the media coverage they are looking for by doing it themselves. This isnít like a black box that they need to pay $10,000 a month for this person to help them do it. They really can. I think it comes down to a question if an entrepreneur is working 60 hours a week developing his upcoming company and he doesnít have time to do PR it might make sense for him to work with another company. I think it goes case by case. I think the biggest thing with entrepreneurs is it is all about finding a positive return on investment and wherever you can find that I would recommend it.


      Alaister: Great. I have got another question here from Richard and he is asking about the frequency of stories. So his question is trying to break down the actual story. Would you recommend actually creating a calendar where you are pitching stories on a regular basis to maybe the same or even different journalists or would you recommend waiting for much larger stories that you feel have a lot more meat and then pitching those kinds of stories out?


      Conrad: Yeah what I would recommend is planning out ideally every eight to twelve weeks your company to have a specific announcement that you can promote and publicize. And it is actually something you could do now like any company can book ahead the next year and say, ìHey I think in three months we are going to launch a mobile Ap. I think three months later we are going to announce a specific milestone. Three months later a small round of funding. ìAnd they can really plan it out.

      I mentioned eight to twelve weeks because any earlier and people tend to stretch the announcements and say, ìIn one month we are going to announce 100,000 users and in two months we are going to announce 125,000 users.î I donít recommend that but I think having in the back your head every three months we should have some kind of announcement can also motivate the business team to think of ways they can push the company forward as well.


      Alaister: Yeah I think that is really good advice in terms of trying to I guess create a calendar of the different stories that are happening, trying to pitch them out and working with the team to develop these stories over time. And I suppose the more you email different journalists or even the same journalists, the more they see your name, your company. And even if that story doesnít get picked up at least that exposure has been seeded.

      Conrad: Absolutely.


      Alaister: So I am just having a look at some of the questions coming in and there is quite a lot coming in now so I just want to make sure we get to the most important ones and the ones that are the most useful. So I have got a question here from Matt L. And they are asking about [31:22 press for competitors] so letís just say a certain journalist wrote about a specific competitor or wrote about your specific industry that you are in. Would you recommend compiling a list of all of these different journalists and sort of emailing them ore would you suggest maybe they have already written about this industry so trying to target different journalists or publications?


      Conrad: No in general I definitely would recommend contacting them and the primary reason is in many cases journalists are going to focus on a specific sector. So if you find some journalists have written about a number of your competitor companies in the business intelligence industry as an example, and you have a business intelligence start up, I think they would be more likely to cover you only because they cover that specific industry. So I wouldnít shy away in any way from contacting them even if they have covered your competitors.


      Alaister: Okay no that is really good advice. So a lot of our community and a lot of the audience within the Warrior Forum are very metrics driven so a lot of the marketing that we do and that the community does is based on statistics whether it be conversion rate optimization, email driven, everything is driven by data and everything is measurable. With PR a lot of the time I suppose people often see PR as it is very difficult to measure trying to understand exactly the benefit a business or start up is receiving from PR exposure. And I know PR is often great for branding and exposure. What are metrics you have put in place maybe for yourself or maybe for some of your startups to assess the effectiveness of a PR campaign?


      Conrad: Yeah I mean you brought up a great point. I think PR is high risk and also very high reward. I would say I donít know of another channel where somebody could essentially do work for free and potentially receive $20, $30, $50,000 return on investment in such a small period of time because I have seen cases for my own companies where I have been featured on Tech Crunch and you see the number of specific clients that you accrue from that specific article.

      I would say the same way in terms of measuring the return investment from PR you should use the same way you measure return investment from social media and these other channels which is ideally you have a specific call to action. So if you have a services company that could be signing up for a free consultation. If you are an Ap company that could be the number of downloads and you should really measure that as much as possible. I would say the only thing to keep in mind for PR is I actually consider it the secret weapon for SEO so if you have a site like Tech Crunch who is a page 8 rank linking to you, you are going to see across the board improvements in your search rankings and it is just something to keep in mind. And it is very hard to evaluate that over a two or three week period but it is important to factor that into the equation.


      Alaister: Yeah I think that point about the SEO and the creation of the links from some of these large publications, it is a really good point. So from a SEO perspective it is hugely beneficial to get these articles on these specific sites.


      Conrad: I mean absolutely and I always mention to people I think if you do a great job with PR, I would say from my experience SEO in many ways will, you donít have to think about it as much because you already have...you donít have to think about how will we get links from these higher page ranking sites because you have already got them and you are kind of continually getting more.


      Alaister: So we talked about earlier you being a guest contributor on a few large publications such as Tech Crunch and Next Web and someone asked the question about how to sort of get these opportunities to become guest contributors. I have got another question here from Mark and he is asking once you have secured a guest contributor spot on a specific publication, how do you balance what youíre writing in terms of not being too self promotional and writing about things that matter as well as trying to push your own start up as well. I guess it is a balancing act there and you donít want to abuse the opportunity. How do you balance that and keep that opportunity alive?


      Conrad: Yeah I think the biggest thing is trying to add as much value as possible and I think knowing that even if you donít promote your specific brand it is going to come back tenfold in the future anyway. For example my articles I would rarely ever, I donít know if I have ever actually mentioned my companies within the article. At the very end you will get a bio line that will include your companyís name, but I think guest articles are a very high ROI activity. It is actually a really good question because a mistake I see people make is the articles are too self promotional as opposed to just adding value. And yeah I would really recommend [36:15 _] as much as possible.


      Alaister: Great okay. So I am just having a look at some of the questions and a lot of people as I mentioned earlier sort of working on their businesses and they might just be starting up, they donít have a lot of contacts and they are looking to get as much exposure as possible. From your perspective if you were to take on a client that is just starting out, what are some of the first bits of advice you would give them? Maybe the top three things that you would give someone just looking to start out, get a bit of exposure, they have never had any exposure to PR or different publications. What are some of the advice that you would give them initially?


      Conrad: Yeah I would say the first thing is identify the very specific announcement. So if someone if just getting started they are probably about to announce the launch of their company which is a really good announcement. And I think the biggest thing is to actually email publications and journalists which sounds silly but you would be surprised how few people do it.

      So a lot of people would say something like, ìHey Conrad, why have I not been on Business Insider yet?î This is like a friend or someone I am advising. And I would say, ìWell did you email Business Insider?î And they would say, ìWell no.î And I would say, ìWell if you havenít emailed them 98, 99% of the time you are not going to be covered by them. So you are not even putting yourself into the game by not emailing anyone.î And I think people would be surprised the response rate they get. Even a journalist saying, ìHey I am not really interested but thanks for emailing me.î So yeah it is so important to actually contact the media.


      Alaister: Some of these major publications I have noticed maybe more recently, this area for articles that are sort of sponsored articles or paid content where people are able to submit stories and pay for the opportunity to be on that publication. Obviously in a different section usually. How does that interact with the rest of the publication? Do you think this is an effective way to get your story out there?


      Conrad: I would say it actually has almost nothing to do. They do a pretty good job with kind of a wall between, in general most publications between paid and editorial. I think it really depends on the individual company. It kind of goes back to if you do publish this article, what was your call to action and were you able to measure the results? I would say the one thing to keep in mind with paid articles from my understanding, from my experience almost all of the leading publications will have a no follow link in any sponsored articles. So in terms of any SEO benefit that would basically be negated. And I think the ROI depends on kind of a case by case situation based on the company.


      Alaister: Great. So unfortunately we are actually running out of time right now but just before we wrap up what are some of the major things that you would like to give advice to start ups looking to get more PR and I know you mentioned in terms of trying to give exclusives, embargos and trying to create a story around a larger macro trend but just before we wrap up what are some of the parting ideas or thoughts you would like to leave with the audience?


      Conrad: I think the biggest thing is to get started and to try outreach to the media. Identify your announcement, offer an exclusive and you would be really surprised with the responses. It is funny because there have been so many cases and I have so many data points, for example helping a company be featured on these sites and people would say, ìWell of course you get them on Venture Beatî or these others ìBecause they know you.î And I would say, ìWell actually for this specific client we decided to test it, and we actually emailed on behalf of the client who letís say was a 65 year old who had no experience in technology and he was able to get featured on these leading sites. And they had no idea that anyone was involved.î

      And I think after seeing dozens and dozens of these cases I just came to the realization it is really about the process and I think yeah just getting yourself out there and really taking that first step and you are going to go a long way.


      Alaister: Yeah what I found fascinating is that you mentioned it is about the person. Personally I always thought it was more about the relationships that you built and the network that you built but in terms of getting someone who has had no exposure, maybe a 65 year old founder who is just starting up in a new business major press and access to these publications is really amazing in being able to perfect that process.

      So thanks very much for your time Conrad. You mentioned you have got a list of different journalists and things like that, so we will share that around and if there is anything else that you wanted to share feel free to send that through and we will share that with our audience.

      So we really appreciate your time Conrad and thanks very much for being on Warrior T.V.


      Conrad: Thank you so much I had an amazing time.


      Alaister: Great. So next week we are really excited to have Jerry Banfield on. He is a SEO expert and a Facebook Ad specialist. So we are going to be talking to him about how to leverage SEO, get high in the rankings and get more traffic as well as how to leverage Facebook Advertizing and drive hordes of traffic to your website.

      So thanks very much for watching and we will see you next time.


      [End Recording 50:31]
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  • Profile picture of the author Caitlinz
    I have heard of Conrad many times before, Extremely Happy that warriorforum is giving us an opportunity to have his valuable ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourBizAid
    I'm looking forward to this WAMA. Thank you Alaister for another WAMA. Although there hasn't been any WAMA lately. I was wondering why right before this one popped up in my email.

    It's great. I looki forward to this, really.

    Louis Kennedy
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  • Profile picture of the author exhibia
    Hola Conrad!

    Tu eres de Colombia?

    We are having a conference call today with your company.

    I am excited!
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  • Profile picture of the author sdwyermc
    Wow thank you so much for the information!
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    • Profile picture of the author Alaister
      Originally Posted by sdwyermc View Post

      Wow thank you so much for the information!
      I'm glad you enjoyed this Warrior TV - Warrior Ask Me Anything event!
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    • Profile picture of the author Pritom
      Originally Posted by sdwyermc View Post

      Wow thank you so much for the information!
      Does press release still work for backlink ?
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  • Profile picture of the author deardave
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    • Profile picture of the author Alaister
      Hi everyone,

      Here are the resources mentioned by Conrad in his Warrior TV, Warrior Ask Me Anything event:

      1) Tech reporter contacts: Tech Reporter Contact List | Publicize

      2) The exact email Conrad used to get an article written on Techcrunch. (Coverage here: Co-Working Space Espacio Launches To Turn Medellin Into A Startup Hub | TechCrunch)

      SUBJECT LINE: Hi Anthony, this is Conrad Egusa (a former VentureBeat writer) with an exclusive

      Hi Anthony,

      I hope all is well. This is Conrad Egusa (LinkedIn), I was earlier a writer for VentureBeat. I am writing to see if you may be interested in an exclusive for a venture I am launching.

      I recently raised funding to start a coworking space/entrepreneurial center in the heart of Medellin, Colombia, because I believe the city will become the Silicon Valley of Latin America. Medellin was recently nominated as one of the top 25 most innovative cities in the world (WSJ link here). Sao Paulo was the only other Latin American city nominated.

      The space is called ESPACIO, ESPACIO Medellin Office Space. To help make this a success, we received a grant from .CO (they are responsible for the worldwide .co URLS), and we are partnering with The Founder Institute and the Colombian government. ESPACIO will be more than an office, it will be a community for entrepreneurs. I grew up in Silicon Valley and New York, but even having had spent time there, I have decided to stay in Medellin because I see so much potential in this city.

      I have attached a press release to this email, and if may be interested, I would love to follow up with more information. Thanks again for your time and energy.

      Best wishes,
      Conrad Egusa
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  • Profile picture of the author danieljb
    The WAMA Event is now available to all War Room members!

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  • Profile picture of the author Arjun3315
    Learn something new, thanks.
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    This is really informative thread for me. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author chahalwpx
    thnanks for new stuff
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  • Profile picture of the author Sonny Morris
    thank you so much. this helps me alot
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    I want to give a free book to my visitors, and want them to download it from the internet so I would not need to send the ebook by email How does it work, technically.
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