Ask the PRincipal: How do I get placed in Huffington Post, The New York Times, and Forbes?

Welcome to Ask the PRincipal, where our fearless founder Nesh Pillay answers all your pressing questions to do with the puzzle that is public relations. Got a question you want answered? Tweet us @PressPillay!  

 Photo credit:  Annie Splatt  from Unsplash

Photo credit: Annie Splatt from Unsplash

Dear PRincipal,

How do I get my brand placed in Huffington Post, The New York Times and Forbes?

My startup is extremely unique and I know that if we get in front of the right media, the public will just love us. Besides, that jerk Brad from high school got his brand covered by The New York Times, so how hard could it be?

Yours truly,

Grumps the CEO


Ask the PRincipal.jpg

Dearest Grumps,

Startup PR can be tough.

This is especially true in cities like Toronto and New York. Right now, the market is saturated with countless founders and CEOs just like yourself, who are convinced that their product or service is the best and most interesting thing ever. After all, if they didn’t think so, why would their startups exist?

It’s important to keep in mind that every founder like yourself is pitching every tech or industry reporter they can find, either independently or using a PR agency. There are two truths you need to keep in mind.

The first is that unless you’re very well-connected, or a PR pro, your pitches are likely not being opened, let alone seen.

As a former reporter, I can attest to the fact that many reporters are inundated with tens or even hundreds of pitches a day. Combine those with current news and features, and there simply isn’t time to feature everyone, let alone open and respond to media requests.

The second is that existing isn’t news.

Say it with me. Existing isn’t news. It’s up to you and your PR team to find your hook or storyline. What problem are you solving? What can you bring to the table that is truly unique? Use your technology and experience to your advantage. Comment on current events, or humanize your brand. Be relatable.

Unfortunately, there’s no single bit of advice that will guarantee you placement. Anyone who guarantees placement is either lying, or a news editor. However, finding your hook and being patient with the media during the pitching process will improve your chances significantly.

Digest these truths and you’ll get more media coverage than Brad in no time.

Read more: 3 Ways To Hold a Socially-Conscious Campaign 

Liked this story? Follow us on Twitter for more PR tidbits and how-tos.