A Journalist’s Tips for Entrepreneurs
The Summer Venture Program hosted New York Times reporter Glenn Rifkin for a Lunch and Learn session a few weeks ago. Rifkin has been a columnist at the Times for over 20 years and publishes articles ranging from obituaries (his exclusive Marvin Minsky obituary trended worldwide on Twitter), to detailing exciting new businesses.
Companies featured in publications such as the Times gain invaluable exposure to potential clients and investors. For this reason, journalists receive countless emails from up-and-coming entrepreneurs looking to boost sales. By his estimate, Rifkin only pursues 1% of these emails. More often than not, the companies are either too early-stage or lack an interesting story. The businesses that are best fit for a feature of this sort are socially impactful and revenue-generating.
It helps to be persistent, but not off-putting, to distinguish yourself from every other email the writer has received that day. When contacting a journalist, it is best to write an attention-grabbing subject and a body consisting of just a few sentences. One successful company also sent Rifkin a PowerPoint exclusively for reporters. To replicate this strategy, send a slide deck different from what you would present in a business setting. The focus should be on introducing your team, your company, and your industry.
Although getting in the door may seem daunting, the benefits of a media feature can be priceless. check out more of Rifkin’s work here.
Hear from the 2016 Summer Venture Program Wellesley cohort on Thursday, July 28 at the Summer Venture Showcase!