An Insider’s Guide to TechCrunch 1


By Molly Galler

If you’re a PR professional, who represents a Tech client, you already know about TechCrunch. What you may not know, is how to get their editors’ attention when it comes to your client. Enter Sam Whitmore.

Sam Whitmore, the creator of Sam Whitmore’s Media Survey frequently conducts interviews with reporters and editors, getting to the bottom of what they do, how they prefer to do it, and “what I wish I’d known sooner” advice they have for others in the industry.

Today’s interview was with Erick Schonfeld (pictured) as he celebrates his one year anniversary as an editor for TechCrunch. Prior to his current gig, Schonfeld wrote for Business 2.0, eCompany and Fortune.

Schonfeld was candid with Whitmore today in his advice to PR professionals, saying the best way to get his attention is with data, not trend pieces:

“I have things that I’m thinking about.  And Michael’s always thinking about – you know he’s done a lot of great pieces recently about the music business, and really thinking deeply about that.  Did those come from PR people?  No.  Did those things get placed?  No.”

“I think that the best way to do that though is to wrap it around some interesting data, maybe.  We love data.  And we love sort of looking at industries and companies from different angles.  And if a client of one of your PR agencies has some really interesting data that they’re willing to share, that’s an exclusive.  You know?  It’s just I don’t really want PR people sending me their big thoughts on trends they’ve been observing.”

If you don’t have data to share, fear not, TechCrunch also welcomes video elevator pitches – a 60 second (average length of an elevator ride) chance to give your best pitch about what your company does and why it matters. All aboard the YouTube train! Schonfeld encourages:

“If I was a PR person, I would think who, of my clients, really is great at pitching their company?  And who can do it in 60 seconds?  And get a camera and film them.  Maybe do it two or three times.  Pick the best one.  You upload it to YouTube.  And we have a whole upload process.  You can do it straight from Elevator Pitches and post it on YouTube, and it gets played on Elevator Pitches. I am the contact for it.  But you don’t really need to contact me. All you need to do is go to Elevatorpitches.com, and all of the instructions are right there.  It’s all self-serve.”

The video elevator pitch is a great way to get your client traction in two places: YouTube (for the general public) and TechCrunch (for the niche tech market).

Lastly, if you don’t have data to share, or a camera friendly CEO for a video elevator pitch, just read the blog! Become a frequent reader of TechCrunch and begin to comment on the content. Schonfeld divulges:

“If you use your real name, and you comment intelligently on a lot of posts, I’ll definitely recognize those names.  And I think that is a good way – that’s a great way to kind of introduce yourself.  Because you, then, are engaging in a conversation.  And if I see your name a lot, I’ll pay more attention to it, just because I know that you’re a regular reader.”

So there you have it, straight from the source! If you want to connect to TechCrunch, and have them feature your client:

1) Share compelling data
2) Send in a video elevator pitch
3) Read the blog and comment wisely

Happy Crunching!


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