5 Ways PR can help your Kickstarter Campaign

Posted by | September 19, 2012 | BLASTmedia, PR Industry, PR tips | One Comment

Funded with Kickstarter green sticker

By now, most of us have heard about Kickstarter, the crowd-funding site that allows companies to ask the masses to donate funds, helping complete projects from films and video games to consumer electronics accessories that may not have received funding otherwise. While the “all-or-nothing”  funding principal of Kickstarter is unique, the success of campaigns like Pebble and Ouya  have grown the site’s popularity, flooding Kickstarter with tens of thousands of projects. In fact, to date, of the over 70,000 projects launched on the site, only 20,326 of them have raised more than $1,000, according to Kickstarter’s stats page.

Kickstarter Infographic

Source: Kickmapper

In such a saturated market, how can a start-up, small business or entrepreneur with a great idea help move a Kickstarter project to the forefront? Grabbing the attention of the public for you and your project is key to standing out in the Kickstarter crowd, and a solid companion public relations campaign can help you spread the word, garner attention and result in media coverage for your project, along with aid in other areas including:

Established relationships. PR firms already have experience interacting with reporters and established relationships with media. Instead of spending your time looking up contacts and tracking down the right person, an experienced PR professional already knows the right people in the right industries to reach out to about your project and can hit the ground running. This is especially helpful with online media, who focus on very specific areas, and may negatively cover your campaign if you reach out to the wrong person. Some reporters have even expressly stated that they won’t cover Kickstarter projects at all.

Timeliness. You are excited about your project and would like to launch it right away, but working with a PR pro on a strategy around the debut of your campaign can make a big difference. Media love products and services that are new and exciting – so not reaching out to media until a few days before your campaign is over or at the same time as another major announcement in your product’s industry (think new iPhone for consumer electronics) will not likely produce results. Having a media outreach plan with solid messaging in place prior to the launch of the campaign and directly after it goes live on Kickstarter will give the project the fresh angle reporters like to cover.

It’s about you and the project. While the goal of Kickstarter is to raise money to fund a product, service or idea, it is also a great time to raise awareness about the individual designer or company. After the initial excitement and coverage of the project launch, most Kickstarter projects experience a “dead zone” in funding until the end of the campaign. Having a public relations professional to reach out to media with other story angles can help sustain media coverage and Kickstarter site traffic throughout the entirety of the project, entice different audiences to your page and propel interest in your company after the campaign ends.

Divide and conquer. While you as the project manager are working on the project itself, answering questions and providing updates to backers, your PR team can simultaneously be sending out information about the project to media and helping spread the word across social media channels. This frees you up to concentrate on meeting your Kickstarter deadlines and interacting with donors, without sacrificing momentum in the campaign. This includes letting the media know when funding goals are met, new rewards are established and any other goals within the campaign are achieved.

Social awareness. While you will post about your Kickstarter campaign on your personal social media channels and reach out to existing contacts and followers, having the expertise of a PR firm to help spread the word socially can take your project to the next level. Public relations professionals can leverage large lists of existing social media contacts within your project’s industry, target new individuals that are influencers in your area and aid with content creation (including the all-important Kickstarter page video) to help increase social conversations and the number of people clicking over to view your project.

Whether your goal is to raise $1,000, $100,000 or $1 million, engaging a public relations pro as part of your team during your Kickstarter project can help elevate your campaign to the next level. This relationship can also be beneficial even after your Kickstarter campaign ends, with PR pros having the ability to aid you when your product is ready to ship or when new versions of the product are available.

BLASTmedia has worked on several successful Kickstarter campaigns – If you are looking to help spread the word about your upcoming Kickstarter project, contact Mendy Werne to find out how our integrated PR and social media campaigns can work for you.

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