Spoke Point

Craft your story. Find journalists. Get press.

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#5 Product of the DayAugust 06, 2014
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Shane Walker@shane_112 · CEO of me.me
I've used his service and have had numerous 30 min calls with him and I'll say the level of support (doing things that don't scale) are what really set this team apart. The tech and platform are solid guides and research tools, but the customer service puts this way over the top. Fantastic crew and startup. 10/10 would startup again.
Dan SiegelMaker@realmandan · Business Growth, Raizlabs
@shane_112 Thanks Shane, been a blast working with you :)
David Lidsky@davidlidsky · deputy editor, Fast Company
As a journalist, I find it hard not to be a little disturbed at the profusion of startups purporting to help startups get press (PressFarm, PressFriendly, PressKing, and BitesizePR have all been on PH). Both as a signal of froth and in being reduced to a historical dataset. I agree that there's some value in a founder reaching out directly versus a PR firm, but the downside is that you don't have any emotional distance if I tell you that I'm not interested. Or you get upset and email me with every article you could have been included in but weren't (this is currently something I am dealing with: A well-known serial founder is routinely trolling me with every perceived slight of his startup). Dan, good luck to you, but my advice to other founders is to be discerning regarding the press you want and skeptical of all services, both professional PR firms and startups, that promise to help you get press.
Dan SiegelMaker@realmandan · Business Growth, Raizlabs
@davidlidsky Yikes getting "trolled" sounds terrible. Totally agree w/ all your comments. Re: "emotional distance", one of the things I hope we do well is expectation setting (which I think PR firms shoot themselves in the foot by not doing well at all). We've managed campaigns that have gone bonkers with press, and the reply rate from journos never ... NEVER ... has topped 25%. I think that's an important lesson we talk to founders about ... if things are going *amazingly* -- 8 of 10 people are not replying to your message. Period. Move on and find the 2 of 10 who are interested. David...fwiw, you're much cooler looking than a dataset. :)
David Lidsky@davidlidsky · deputy editor, Fast Company
@realmandan Sounds like the right approach re: expectation setting. (That is one of the more awkward scenarios I regularly encounter: Everyone wants to be on the cover of the magazine, and I appreciate that, but let's be realistic.) That said, it's very hard to think about press in a transactional way. The people who get written about, who break through and get their stuff looked at, are the ones who are routinely willing to offer information and insight where there's very little, if any, payoff. As for your business, there are just so many kinds of journalists that it's hard for you or anyone else to discern who I am, what I like, the kinds of things I am interested in now, what kinds of pitches I respond to and my likelihood of responding to that kind of pitch again--and then do that at scale for every journalist. Seems like a particularly daunting "do things that don't scale" challenge.
Dan SiegelMaker@realmandan · Business Growth, Raizlabs
@davidlidsky Agree agree agree. Another thing we talk to founders about is timeline. If you want press in 8 weeks ... start, like, now. Not because you should be pitching your product now, but because you should be identifying which journos *might* care and building honest-to-goodness relationships w/ them by doing exactly the kind of stuff you note -- provide value up front, with no expected payoff. As for scaling issues -- our estimated reply rate is valuable exactly because it's super hard to know when one journo will care about one pitch on one day. We've found that arming yourself with the data to know who is "likely" to care--and building relationships with those peeps--is the best bet.
Dan SiegelMaker@realmandan · Business Growth, Raizlabs
Hey all! I'm Dan, co-founder of @spokepoint. We've been helping crowdfunding campaigns and startups get press, and built Spokepoint for ourselves. Realized along the way that, duh, the community should have a platform like this. With our data we've been able to estimate the likelihood a given journo will reply positively to a given pitch, which has helped users be efficient and effective with their campaigns/time spent.
Kevin Dewalt@kevindewalt · Founder, All Aboard! try.allaboard.io
Like most startup ideas, the credibility of the founders are more important than the actual ideas. I've had a chance to work with @realmandan, he's been one of more popular and respected people on SoHelpful. I get unsolicited, RAVING emails from startup founders about the advice and help he gives them. We heard so much good feedback that we started asking Dan for advice ourselves. I promise you this - Dan knows what what help startup founders need in getting PR. Anything he creates gets my unqualified thumbs-up.
David Haddad@daveying99 · Publiseek
Spoke with Dan and he has a deep passion and understanding of the needs of both parties. Best of luck and looking forward to my invite! :-)
Dan SiegelMaker@realmandan · Business Growth, Raizlabs
@daveying99 thanks man! app is open for business: app.spokepoint.com/create-account.html