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Startups & Small Biz: 5 PR Tips from an Entrepreneur

As a lover of both the culinary and business worlds, Reggie Milligan started his career as a chef before finding himself in entrepreneurship. A year and a half after launching his first food company, it was scooped up by a California-based enterprise, and he didn’t waste any time in launching his next venture: Mantry.

Started in February 2012, Milligan and co-founder Tony Hancock launched Mantry after noticing the biggest thief of creative cooking is time. They stepped in with Mantry – a monthly food subscription service – to do the hard work of curating American artisan food, and letting their customers do the simple task of waiting for delivery.

“It’s Christmas once a month for our subscribers,” Milligan said in an interview with blogTO. “Except instead of Mandarin oranges and razors, guys get Reindeer Jerky and an award-winning sauce from a hipster who spent three days making it in Brooklyn.”

Milligan

Milligan

With Mantry mentions in Crain’s, Fast Company and more, we sat down with Milligan to hear his tips on securing media coverage:

1) Reach Out Directly – As a start-up, we bootstrap across every aspect of our business, Milligan says. “For PR, we don’t have the money to allocate to a PR firm at this point, and I have been successful in reaching out directly.  As the co-founder, the media is sometimes surprised to see me doing the outreach, which is a great conversation-starter in and of itself.”

2) Schedule Outreach – Every Monday Milligan makes time for PR. Set a similar schedule to keep consistent and up-to-date on contacts’ coverage and the industry, as well as following up and reaching out to new contacts.

3) Time is of the Essence – In a start-up, being efficient is important. “Cision allows us to make sure every hour spent doing outreach is used to connect with the media instead of researching contacts; it’s a game-changer.”

4) Tailor Pitches – “If you’re talking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody,” Milligan says.

5) Build Trust – “Marketing and PR goes beyond physically putting the product in front of the consumer. Getting your brand mentioned in outlets and on ‘products to try’ lists give you a lot of credibility. It’s hard to sell a consumer without press mentions.”

For more on Mantry, visit Mantry.com, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Tumblr.

For more PR insight, download our free tip sheet: 6 Budget-Friendly PR Tips for Startups & Small Businesses.

About Lisa Denten

Lisa Denten is the Social Media Manager of Cision U.S., where she leads social strategy, coordinates the blog editorial calendar and manages public relations campaigns. She regularly hosts Cision webinars, was chosen as a #FollowFriday guest on industry blog Spin Sucks, and has spoken on panels for Inbound Marketing Summit and Publicity Club of Chicago. She worked in the newspaper industry before joining Cision in 2008. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter at @lisaml15.

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