Leave a comment
Get the GH Bookmarklet

AMAs

 Two years ago Dmitry single-handedly grew a startup from 0 to 40M page views through press outreach and got acquired by Google. 

Now he has translated his know-how into JustReachOut – a SaaS launched early 2016 which is now used by 4000+ small businesses and startups (as well as big ones such as Airbnb, HubSpot, Chess.com, Nickelodeon) to pitch relevant journalists and get press coverage without the help of PR firms. 

Besides JustReachOut Dmitry runs PRThatConverts - a PR coaching program teaching entrepreneurs one on one how to reach out to journalists and get coverage. Since it's launch 6 months ago more than 140 students have been able to get press for their businesses through this program.

Dmitry has published 1300+ articles and has written for Lifehacker, Entrepreneur, TheNextWeb and TechCrunch, Mashable, Huffington Post, WIRED and many others.

He will be live on Feb 2 starting 9:30 AM PT for one and a half hours during which he will answer as many questions as possible. 

  • SK

    S Kodial

    17 days ago #

    Hey Dmitry
    Despite all the info out there, what are the biggest mistakes that you still see startups making when it comes to PR? Why do you think they still keep falling into these traps again and again?

    • DD

      Dmitry Dragilev

      17 days ago #

      Hey SK, sure thing! I would say the same reason I mention in my answer to Sean Ellis above here: https://growthhackers.com/amas/dmitry-dragilev-founder-ceo-justreachout-prthatconverts#comment-66006

      People keep pitching this way:

      Subject: My great new app since you like writing about apps

      Hey X,

      I know you love writing about apps, take a look at my new app, it's great...

      1000 words about the app, with links, PR releases, etc etc.

      -Dmitry

      This is the worst way to start a conversation with a journalist because everyone does it, hundreds of emails a day land in each of their inboxes with this same exact same pitch, your chance to stand out is really poor.

      Remember this, did you see this? https://growthhackers.com/slides/500-editors-journalists-reveal/

      Remember what they want to see and the format form this slide deck?

      As I mentioned to Sean there are a few great ways to start conversations with journalists and influencers which actually get responses:

      1. answer a Quora question and ask them to comment saying they’re more of an expert vs. you
      2. find a HelpAReporter.com request which is a good fit for them and send it to them
      3. Interview them for an article roundup of quotes on a given topic

      I show actual examples of all these and others in this video, just fast fwd to 17 min to skip the back story: http://prthatconverts.com/

      Does this help?

      -D

      2 Share
  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    19 days ago #

    Thank you for doing this AMA Dmitry. What is the most important thing that you understand about PR that most other PR professionals fail to understand?

    • DD

      Dmitry Dragilev

      17 days ago #

      Hey Sean,

      Thanks for having me, pleasure to be here!

      Good question!

      I would say the most important thing is: do NOT pitch your product or service up front in the very first cold email pitch but instead provide value to the person you’re pitching.

      I use this test: If you met the journalists, bloggers, influencer you are trying to pitch over email in real life at a conference - would you say out loud the same thing you write to them in an email?

      I like to read my emails out loud when I pitch press or bloggers or anyone with a big audience and I'd say 9 out of 10 times I would not say it out loud to them. So I kill the email.

      It feels spammy to ask for something up front from a person I don't know well, I feel like one of those people on the street trying to sell you something, you know what I’m talking about?

      So the advice is focus on value for that person you are reaching out to:

      *If it’s a journalist, can you find a spelling mistake they made? Can you share some data with them where you analyzed 1.5M FB posts and found something surprising? Can you become a pro-bono assistant for them of sorts which always brings sweet nuggets of info?

      *If it’s a blogger who runs their own blog or startup - can you help them by bringing them more email subscribers? Recommending a SEO keyword which they should write about because you see that results for this keyword are poor?

      In general there are a few great ways to start conversations with journalists and influencers:

      1. answer a Quora question and ask them to comment saying they’re more of an expert vs. you

      2. find a HelpAReporter.com request which is a good fit for them and send it to them

      3. Interview them for an article roundup of quotes on a given topic

      I show actual examples of all these and others in this video, just fast fwd to 17 min to skip the back story: http://prthatconverts.com/

      Does this answer your question?

      -Dmitry

      2 Share
  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    17 days ago #

    Bonjour Dmitry- Merci for doing this AMA.

    At which point growth stage for a startup does it make sense to start PR activities?

  • JA

    Justin Adelson

    17 days ago #

    Hello, Dmitry - thank you for taking some time to answer our questions!

    Social media and digital content creation have changed the way we are receiving information and news. For example, everyone participating in this AMA has probably been bombarded with political posts by the "crazy uncle" we don't talk about.

    Social media, blogging, and content creation will never replace the impact a published article will have on a startup. However, we are starting to see how effective influencer marketing can be for a growing company. Is influencer marketing the next version of public relations; should startups implement influencer marketing in their public relations strategy?

    Thanks again!

    • DD

      Dmitry Dragilev

      17 days ago #

      Hey Justin,

      Good question, influencer marketing has become very popular lately. Here is a video response for you!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP43a_7AV80&t=10s

      One of my students in PRThatConverts recently asked me the same question and I recorded this as a mini lesson in the course.

      I hope my video response does your question justice? Let me know!

      -Dmitry

      2 Share
  • AM

    Ana Maria Dârstaru

    18 days ago #

    Hi Dmitry,

    I've been reading and loving your emails for a while now, so it's great to see you doing this AMA.

    In your opinion, how important it is to include a PR role in a marketing team? Also, what's the best way to define KPIs for a PR campaign and to keep track of the progress that's being made?

    • DD

      Dmitry Dragilev

      17 days ago #

      Hi Ana!

      Thanks for the kind words!

      PR role in my opinion should be more of a SEO/Content Marketing/Growth Hacker/PR role, PR is no longer about a good email list of journalists and being great at mail merge, it’s about strategy behind the PR campaign.

      In other words, it doesn’t really matter if you get a mention on FastCo or Inc or TechCrunch here or there and get a splash of traffic one day, all this stuff is “nice” but means absolutely nothing long term if you don’t have a long term strategy for PR.

      This is where “content marketing” and “growth hacking” and “SEO” enters the PR world. I’ll give you a specific example. Instead of randomly getting press mentions Pipedrive wanted to rank #1 for the term “sales management” and use PR and SEO to get there.

      They currently outrank Wikipedia for “sales management”: https://i.gyazo.com/9099d147dd4f7b41d37cd8a2f9230e92.png

      Now the PR strategy was to write an article on this topic and get it to rank very high by writing more guest articles about the topic on other popular publications, getting influencers to share this blog post and engage in regular PR activity around this article.

      You see how a strategy like this is a long term strategy, now this article ranks #1 for this given key term and will be bringing in tons of traffic for them for years to come.

      This is the type of PR which I love! It keeps on giving more and more traffic in the longer term but in short term (while we were writing the article and promoting it) we didn’t have much traffic at all.

      There are a number of other case studies here for real life examples of this: http://prthatconverts.com/#case-studies

      In terms of KPIs - I setup eCommerce in Google Analytics and track “paying customers” from each referral source to see which piece of content is driving the most paying customers.

      Does this answer your question?

      -Dmitry

      2 Share
  • JD

    James Dunn

    17 days ago #

    Hi Dmitry!

    As a business owner, how have you gone about thinking about which channels to tap for acquiring customers?
    Which channels have worked well for you and are the ones that are working ones you had expected to work well or have there been surprises there?

    • DD

      Dmitry Dragilev

      17 days ago #

      Hey James,

      It’s a pretty big question haha! I would say 90% of stuff I try fails, so it would be a rather huge list of failures I would have to list here.

      I have to say it’s very seldom that the exact tactics which work for one product or person are the tactics which will work for others. The more valuable question to ask is “How did you run experiments on what will work for you in terms of user acquisition and how did you land on a strategy which works well?”

      I wrote a case study on how I built JustReachOut and sold it and marketed it here, this should give you a pretty thorough glimpse in process I followed http://www.criminallyprolific.com/pitch-sell-your-app/

      In terms of best tactics which worked for me…

      I launched JustReachOut beginning of 2016, it’s now 4K+ customers and I launched PRThatConverts Aug 2016 and it’s now 200 VIP students…

      The best tactic which has worked for me, hands down, this rocked:

      1. Build an email list - http://www.criminallyprolific.com/grow-email-list/
      2. Ask them what they want as a product
      3. Build that product and ask the list for feedback on the product
      4. Launch it to that email list

      Does this answer your question?

  • JP

    John Phamvan

    17 days ago #

    Hi Dmitry

    Can PR ever be a stable/reliable channel for traffic or is something that's always going to result in spikes in traffic whenever you can get it? If it can be something that can be relied upon for a certain level of awareness/acquisition then how does one go about setting the stage for something like that to happen?

  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    17 days ago #

    Hi Dmitry,

    Its amazing how many articles you've written! How are you sure though, that with everything you write, that it is a quality piece and not being churned out just for the sake? Specifically what signal do you look for once its published that its resonated with the readers in some way?

    Thanks in advance.

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    17 days ago #

    Hi Dmitry,

    Thanks for joining!

    How and why (or why not) do you recommend your clients track ROI on PR efforts? Are there any recommendations you make to your clients when it comes to capitalizing on bumps in traffic from press?

    Lastly, where would you recommend someone/a company just getting started with PR start?

    Thanks!
    Dani

  • PM

    Paige Mayer

    17 days ago #

    Hey Dmitry, thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom! Two main questions:

    1. Do you think traditional press releases are a thing of the past? If not, how can a startup effectively make use of releases today?

    2. What learning resources (aside from yours!) and books would you recommend for young professionals trying to grow expertise in this field?

  • MD

    Mark Anthony de Jesus

    17 days ago #

    Hi Dmitry! Of all the content you've written, what would you say are the top 3 and why are they your top 3? Would you also say that your process for generating these pieces was different in some way than the others?

  • MR

    Marianne Rocco

    17 days ago #

    Hi Dmitry-

    What are the three most important elements of a press release that drives conversions? Thanks.

  • LO

    letitiah obiri

    17 days ago #

    Hey! As a freelance content marketer I have found guest blogging and outreach to be the best ways of gaining PR for my startup clients although it can be time consuming. Can you suggest some top growth hacking tips for gaining PR for SaaS startups? Especially during the on-boarding period? I struggle to increase app downloads for my tech clients and I would like to know some quick wins for onboarding

  • CR

    Cherae Robinson

    17 days ago #

    Dmitry thanks for doing this. How do you ensure that your press converts. We haven't done proactive outreach but have been featured in Vogue, Conde Naste and a few others. The bumps aren't as big as I would expect - how do we build to convert better?

  • JM

    Jason Meresman

    17 days ago #

    Hi Dmitry - thanks for doing today's AMA!

    In today's world of citizen journalism, is PR different than influencer marketing? If so, how do you decide which one to use and when?

    • DD

      Dmitry Dragilev

      17 days ago #

      Hey Jason,

      Good question, influencer marketing has become very popular lately. Here is a video response for you!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP43a_7AV80&t=10s

      One of my students in PRThatConverts recently asked me the same question and I recorded this as a mini lesson in the course.

      I hope my video response does your question justice? Let me know! If not I'm happy to clarify!

      -Dmitry

  • DO

    Danielle Olivas

    17 days ago #

    Hi Dmitry,

    Thank you for spending your time with us today!

    What do you think of the effectiveness of HARO nowadays for startup PR?

    I look forward to your reply. Thanks!

    • DD

      Dmitry Dragilev

      17 days ago #

      Hey Danielle,

      Sure thing, happy to do it. HARO is pretty good, a bit old, still good, like most similar platforms it was very hot when it was first launched and now has been exploited a bit so the effectiveness has not been as it used to be but I always say it’s the lowest hanging fruit for you, answer one or two every single day, it takes you 5 minutes a day, and you will eventually get featured if you answer these consistently.

      If you have a physical product I highly recommend this, these guys rock: http://www.launchgrowjoy.com/media-leads/

      Another good one I like to get emails from is http://www.radioguestlist.com/

      I talk about about HARO and the tactic I use with it in this video, fast fwd to 17 min here: http://prthatconverts.com

      Does this answer your question?

      -Dmitry

  • AP

    Anthony Panepinto

    27 days ago #

    Hi Dimitry,

    It seems like you have excellent, first hand experience growing companies.

    Based on your domain marketing experience - what growth/marketing tactics would you recommend for a company like JustEat.ca, or Foodora.com looking to increase their user-base of hungry, consumers. What are some low-cost, creative marketing tactics that food-tech companies like this can use for growth, and getting new users?

    I find for companies like this, I wouldn't know where to begin with finding the target market as it's potentially so big.. everyone eats, and gets hungry, where to begin? And what tactics to use once you've found them.

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    17 days ago #

    Hey Dmitry - stoked to have you on!

    You mentioned that big names like Airbnb etc are using JustReachOut - which is amazing!
    My question is why? These names are big enough that (in theory) they shouldn't have any problem with getting press whenever they want. So what need is JustReachOut satisfying that isn't being met with their current setups?
    What is it that's common between what Airbnb still needs vs a relatively newer startup that's looking for their first press mention?

    • DD

      Dmitry Dragilev

      17 days ago #

      Hey Anuj,

      Sure thing, happy to answer.

      We’re all overloaded with information and seeking out the relevant info is tough even for large companies.

      Bigger companies just like smaller companies are also a bit lost as to who is the most relevant blogger, influencer, journalist to contact right this very second because they are very interested to promote you and get you more exposure.

      Hubspot and these large companies also want to be efficient with reaching out to influencers and journalists and figuring out who are the exact people who will love writing about them and bring them more customers.

      Which Quora question should I answer right this very second because it’s asking something I can answer well and it’s trending now?
      Which Reddit thread should I comment on?
      Which journalist is looking for an expert in my field to give a comment for an article they are writing about?

      There are all the questions https://justreachout.io/ helps answer for large companies and small.

      Does this answer your question? Feel free to re-ask if not!

      -Dmitry

  • MA

    Mark Armstrong

    17 days ago #

    Do you have a database of #Caribbean media contacts?
    I'm launching this: http://UnitedIslands.org

    I'm going to check out your links above. What is easiest contact method for you? Also, how many people do you employ? You get a Hell of a lot done!

Join over 70,000 growth pros from companies like Uber, Pinterest & Twitter

Get Weekly Top Posts
High five! You’re in.
SHARE
44
44