I am curious if anyone has had luck pitching their startups to publications like TechCrunch or ReadWriteWeb.SaaSy.com had the good fortune to be covered by TechCrunch. ReadWriteWeb planned to do a story as well we were told but in the end passed, possible because TechCrunch already had the scoop (we offered them an exclusive on the announcement day since they by far have the largest and most targeted audience).
Other than those, what are the publications that cover startups?These are the publications that covered our launch and focus on new start-ups: Young Upstarts, Killer Startups, IdeaMensch, and Mixergy.
Also, what is an effective pitch structure/template/approach?In our case, we worked with an excellent PR firm who is not super expensive or well known, but very successful getting coverage for innovative start-ups, and we were quite pleased with the results. There are a few articles still on their way to release from pretty well known publications, and we're looking forward to the additional PR fuel.
What made our pitch effective is that we explained what about our new service is unique and newsworthy, which is key. We did the work to help the journalists understand the competitive landscape using this matrix: http://saasy.com/matrix.php We practiced a clear, concise elevator pitch which described the existing problem and how our solution solved it, then went into establishing credibility by describing the experience of our management team, the fact that a larger, already successful company, FastSpring, is behind the new service, and other content that helps establish credibility to support the newsworthiness of our new offering. If your new product or service launch isn't truly newsworthy within your industry, the next best strategy is to come up with a newsworthy angle that may interest readers of publications you'd like to target.