Crazy But Effective PR Ideas From the GreenPal Co-Founders
By: Carli Evilsizer | March 24, 2018
Public relations can be difficult for startups of all stages. PR can take a lot of time and effort! You have to find (or create) newsworthy stories about your company, create a press release, identify the right reporters to pitch, actually find their email and then finally pitch them! You might do all of this work and then never hear back. But co-founders of GreenPal have found a few, clever PR tactics to 1) ensure a reporter will respond to their pitch and 2) create newsworthy stories reporters will actually want to cover.
1. THROW 'EM A BONE
Not literally right? No, literally send the reporter a dog bone! Sound crazy? It might be but Gene Caballero, Co-Founder of GreenPal, says this has resulted in tons of local placements over the years. So why does it work? A reporter will be more likely to respond to your pitch after you’ve shown a personal interest in them and have gone out of your way to grab their attention.
“When launching into a new market, it is crucial for us to get local media coverage. Without a mention in the local newspaper or on a local television new station, it takes us 6 months longer to gain traction. These reporters and tv personalities get so many emails and phone calls so you have to differentiate yourself from everyone else. When looking for the proper contact to email, almost all reporters have a bio about themselves. (Favorite restaurants, hobbies, and even pets.) What I’ve found very beneficial is to send them a bone in the mail if they mention a dog. This will certainly get their attention and they will be more likely to respond to your email or phone call. This little technique has accounted for over 30 mentions in the local media and counting. Its unorthodox but very personal!”
-Gene Caballero Co-Founder of GreenPal
2. DO A GOOD DEED
Don’t give back to your community yet? You are missing out on some great, newsworthy PR opportunities! Zach Hendrix, Co-founder of GreenPal, says they decided to launch a new program to give back as a PR tactic. Not only does this new program generate several placements each month, but it’s also become a rewarding way for GreenPal to truly help out their local communities.
“Last summer we needed to figure out a repeatable way to leverage the activity inside of our platform to get exposure and free PR for our marketplace. So our team began implementing a program to get connected with our local community in Nashville, Tennessee. We have a few hundred lawn care professionals who utilize our system then we ask them to submit candidates who are in need of a lawn mowing for free because they are in a tough personal situation. Once a month we will go and mow a stranger’s home whose grass has gotten 2 to 3 feet tall because they are in a jam. One person was facing foreclosure while another was getting ready to be cited by the city. We also try to help out single moms more than anybody. I guess what we got learned is that despite what you might hear about the economy, things are still very tough out there for working-class folks. This is the least we can do to help out and build a personal connection with our local community. Overall, we get 2-3 placements every time we run the program, so it's a success!”
-Zach Hendrix, Co-founder of GreenPal