Friend and fellow entrepreneur, Aruni Gunasegaram, got a sweet PR mention this Memorial Day weekend on Fred Wilson’s blog. Fred’s blog, A VC, has probably 10k daily readers and PageRank of 6.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you should take note because what Aruni did cost her $0 got her some incredibly valuable PR visibility and link juice. Here’s how she did it:
First, she got the idea to partner with eMailOurMilitary, to offer active service military deployed overseas free use of her product, Baby Insights. Baby Insights is a service that allows new mothers to track virtually ever detail of a newborn’s life– eating, sleeping, pooping– all on a PDA. Cool idea and giving it away is a great way to honor our military because the difficulty of being separated from a new baby obviously greatly compounds the sacrifice of service.
Finally, she sent Fred Wilson a direct message via Twitter saying (paraphrased) “Hey, if you’re going to post on Memorial Day please consider mentioning this partnership,” with a link to her blog post.
Indeed, Fred wrote a great Memorial Day tribute to the Armed Forces and included a mention at the end of the post, saying “And speaking of military life, here’s a neat example of two women who met on twitter who have teamed up to deliver a service to families separated by military service,” with a link to Aruni’s blog.
Here are a few reasons I think this was a great example of effective DIY PR:
- Aruni was active on Fred’s blog as a commenter prior to pitching him, so he recognized her, if not had the beginnings of a relationship by that point (this is a perfect example of the conversational PR model Brian Solis wrote about this weekend).
- Fred has written a lot about Twitter and Aruni’s post mentions that she met the other founder on Twitter, which Fred no doubt liked (and mentions in his post)
- Timing – her news was timely– she announced a partnership right before Memorial Day, and it dovetailed perfectly with the idea of honoring the military
- Soft target – it was a slow news day – it was a bit of a gamble that Fred would be posting on Monday, but it paid off because he was likely receiving very few other timely and relevant pitches.
Fred is definitely an A-List blogger, and even if getting coverage on his blog doesn’t necessarily bring lots of Aruni’s target customers to her site, she benefits in several ways:
#1 Her company earns recognition and validation from a respected influencer, #2 her blog gains the all-important link juice, which she can then redirect toward her product pages, and #3 she becomes top of mind in the online baby space for other potential partners. I know Aruni has been doing a lot of work to raise her site’s visibility, so big congrats!