Stéphanie Protat, Director, Oxygen Nantes
Lately, you’ve probably heard a lot about Kickstarter, Indiegogo, KissKissBankBank… More and more start-ups and individuals are using those crowdfunding platforms to raise money, obviously, but also to make sure their product is ready for the market or have visibility in international media.
Some campaigns have been really successful, like Pebble, Coolest Cooler, Pono Music, Potatoe Salad even Giroptic and Lima in France to give a few examples. However, some others fail: either they don’t raise the money they were expecting, or they do but don’t get enough media attention. Here are 6 tips to help you optimize your crowdfunding campaign and its media impact:
1 – Prepare your campaign
Don’t think communication and public relations after your campaign has started. Because behind any successful campaigns lay months of preparation, including PR. Especially when you target the US market, where it is common to pre-brief US journalists under embargo. Sending them pitches a few weeks earlier gives them time to write their piece, allows you to communicate before and secure articles on the first day of the campaign.
2 – Think global/international
While it is absolutely necessary to let your local market know that you are launching a crowdfunding campaign, consider other populations that are based in North America, the Middle-East and even Asia that are ready to pledge and back your campaign. Europeans are still a bit cautious when it comes to crowdfunding. That is why it is important to spread the word to international journalists, mainly the Americans who are followed and read worldwide.
3 – Mobilize your networks
Your social and personal networks will play a big role in your campaign’s success and will help increase your global visibility. Think of all the people you know who could relay the project to their own network. They could be your closed ones, of course, but also alumnus from college, networks related to your project industry, local networks, etc. Don’t hesitate to ask them to share the news to become viral and get attraction around your campaign!
4 – Follow up
Sending a press release to 5,000 journalists is not enough to get coverage. It is necessary to select the right target, to send them the right and unique message they want and, more than anything, to follow up with them regularly (one of the reason why it is important to have a dedicated team). Depending on the campaign’s success, it could be relevant to let them know that the financial goal has been reached in less than 5 days, or that the project has reached 5x the established goal, etc.
In general, there are 3 phases in a crowdfunding campaign: the first 5 to 10 days help generate a huge craze for the project, then the middle of the campaign is pretty slow, and finally the last 5 days when we observe a renewed interest. So, if you want to keep your public’s interest during the whole campaign, it is necessary to regulate your contacts with reporters and, if possible, to get articles in influent publications from the beginning to the end of your campaign to revive the activity.
5 – Call upon experts!
A crowdfunding campaign is to be taken seriously. It requires time and know-how. You need to call upon media and networking experts, either in-house or by working with a PR agency. Your campaign will require resources on media relations for the duration of the project, and experts will give you the right advice on how to raise the media’s interest and reach your goals.
6 – Don’t forget the details…
Even if Public Relations are a huge part of a crowdfunding campaign, you should not neglect the other aspects: your presentation page should be well written and structured, bringing as much information as you can, with a precise roadmap for your product and company. Emphasize also on videos, pictures and team presentations to humanize the campaign. Plan regular newsletters to your backers to keep them updated on the project. Finally, last but not least, your product must be really unique and bring an added-value to your market.
Originally posted by Oxygen PR in March 2015.