Press Notify Review: Send free PR pitches to the top tech publications

6th December 2020

TL;DR

Press Notify is the quickest way to craft and send press pitches to all the leading tech publications in a single go. With fill-in-the-blank templates and a decent database of journalists, Press Notify takes out all of the manual outreach associated with getting coverage for your startup. It’s a service I’ve used myself, with great results.



Loved

  • Super quick
  • Delivers results
  • All the top tech publications
  • Great value for money

Loathed

  • No follow-up
  • No tracking

The Story

What is Press Notify?

Getting press coverage can be a lottery. Press Notify buys you multiple tickets to the draw by blasting its black book of over 100 tech publications on your behalf.

The service is built for speed. Simply fill out the gaps in Press Notify’s tried-and-tested pitching template and hit send to reach the inboxes of the kingmakers of the press. Any interest comes directly back to you once the intro has been made.


Avi Wilensky

Meet the Maker:
Avi Wilensky

Avi is a seasoned founder and developer. Press Notify wasn’t his first rodeo.

When not transporting startups to the inboxes of journalists Avi runs Promediacorp - a digital agency and web development shop - working with the largest brands in the world, including Samsung, Sony and Mattel.

He’s also the man behind the curtain at price comparison site Up Hail that calculates the price of any ride with the two major ride-sharing services: Lyft and Uber. That tool has been used by millions of people and was named one of Mashable’s Most Useful Web Tools of 2014.

The Product

How we tested Press Notify

I’ve been on both sides of pitching, as a startup founder looking for coverage and the journalist being pitched to.

Getting picked up tends to be either a numbers game with a hint of good fortune or the result of good relationships and well-crafted pitches. Press Notify is definitely more the former.

I have used Press Notify to launch a previous project. The service worked as promised, with journalists from The Times and The Next Web giving it its first coverage, which subsequent lead to an avalanche of other mentions across the web.

I’m therefore very happy to spread the word about the service, which has had a slight makeover since then.


Getting started with Press Notify

Go from sign-up to sent out in only four steps.

Press Notify don’t require a credit card upfront, so login with your Gmail credentials and get editing. Customising the template and dispatching your campaign is unnervingly simple - so much so that you’re left wondering why you don’t do press outreach more often.

Features you’ll love

  • 🗞️ Pitch perfect: Effortlessly contact journalists

    Your only job is to customise the pitch template. It’s a little-known fact that it’s actually based on the ideal pitch the Editor of Tech Crunch said would get his attention, and that of fellow journalists!

    There’s 12 fields you can make your own, including the nature of the announcement (e.g. launch, funding raise, etc), why it’s newsworthy, company background and whether you’re offering the publication an exclusive or not. Unfortunately, there’s no way to edit the final email, so you’re stuck with a field even if it’s is surplus to requirements.

    That’s about the only criticism I can make here. The output is a short and snappy pitch that’s proven to work, so maybe that constraint is a good thing.

    Once you’ve previewed and approved your email it goes to every publication you’ve paid for.

  • 👫 Go premium: For added hand-holding

    Paying $49 will ensure Press Notify do everything for you and send it out to every publication on their books. It also gets you access to Avi’s expertise, who will review your pitch and overall strategy to ensure it has every chance of getting coverage.

Things to consider

  • Efficient or spammy?

    Many won’t agree with pitching to publications in bulk. They’ll tell you that PR is an art that can’t be replaced by a marketing tool. However, as my own experience testifies, it works. If your story is interesting enough tech journalists will want to share it, regardless of how it gets on their radar.

    If it were any other profession this approach would definitely be considered unethical, however all of the email addresses it goes to are publicly available on the web, inviting potential news stories. Press Notify simply speeds up the whole process.

  • No follow-ups

    Press Notify doesn’t keep a record of every publication or email address goes to, so you can only follow-up if a journalist replies to your email. More SEO-focussed tools such as LinkHunter or SEMrush can achieve this, with their huge databases of article authors and web admins – finding who is writing about similar topics and businesses and scrapping their email addresses – with the ability to track replies and follow-up accordingly. This involves a bit more effort and an active subscription, so Press Notify offers a shortcut towards the same goal.

Press Notify Pricing

from $9 one-off fee

for 60 publications

It’s free to submit your pitch to a single site but won’t get you very far. For a one-off payment of $9 you get access to 60 publications, including BuzzFeed, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Fast Company & The Verge.

Or you could go all-inclusive for $49. This means Press Notify do everything for you and send it out to their entire database of journalists.

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Press Notify Alternatives

My guess is that anybody turning to Press Notify does so to replace a ton of manual outreach.

Pitching is hard work and demoralising at times. Press Notify’s tool removes both.

Startups turning to PR tools to raise their visibility should also try out Help a Reporter Out (HARO), the #JournoRequest hashtag on Twitter and The Press Index. I recently reviewed The Press Index – the new kid on the block – and it’s a capable alternative to putting a PR agency on retainer. Sign-up, create a listing and wait for the journalist enquiries to come to you.

Press Notify Support   👍  or   👎

Press Notify is Avi’s side-hussle, so he’ll be the one getting back to you on any queries.

He’s all too happy to offer free credits so you can send your pitch to more publications. Simply share Press Notify on social media using the hashtag #pressnotify and let him know to get yours.

The Verdict

Surges score

77%

Press Notify is a single-track tool designed to get you into the inbox of multiple newsrooms with as little effort as possible. It’s a service made for bootstrappers with something shouting about but not the time to do so.

The streamlined tool’s pitch template is rigid but purposely so. Fill the details in for twelve empty fields and, hey presto, you’ve written and submitted a press release to dozens of publications.

As reported earlier in this review, I paid to use the tool a few years back when launching a new venture. That sparked 132 new backlinks from an article in The Times via Press Notify. Not bad!

It’s for that reason that Press Notify gets my full seal of approval. At $9 for 60, there really isn’t anything to lose.

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