Every startup entering the game craves one thing: media coverage. It’s what most effectively spreads word about your business and gets you the exposure you desperately need. Unfortunately, getting your startup in the news is not as easy as it may sound.
You may not have the right connections or manpower to get the coverage you crave, and chances are you don’t have the funds to hire someone who does. The good news is there are some simple ways that you can generate much needed buzz.
1. Choose your target outlets
The first thing you need to do is identify which media outlets you want to target. This is where you should dream big! Curate a list of 30 or so outlets you believe would be beneficial to the growth of your startup, and then dive into research. Choosing one journalist from each outlet and familiarize yourself with everything they write. Once you do your research you will have a better idea of which journalists would actually be excited about what you do.
2. Utilize social media to form relationships
You should be communicating with journalists on Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis. First start by following journalists from various outlets on Twitter and subscribe to their Facebook updates. Make sure that each day you scroll your feed to see what they are writing about, and interact with them by retweeting, commenting, favoriting, and liking their posts. By showing genuine interest in their stories your name will become familiar to them, and your pitch will appear more personal since you know more about them as a writer in the industry.
3. Craft the perfect press release
Journalists receive hundreds of pitches a week, so catching their attention right off the bat is absolutely essential! Your press release should be short, concise, to the point, and free of grammatical errors. Most importantly, your press release should convey in one page why your startup news is important to their readers and any implications it could have on the industry. Send the press release directly to the journalist and urge them to call you with any questions they may have. You can also send the press release out to relevent sources like TechCrunch, Mashable, Killerstartups.com and more.
4. Don’t be afraid to follow up
This step is just as important as your initial pitch. Since journalists are exceptionally busy people, there’s a good chance that they may have overlooked your original pitch and need to be reminded. If you have strong news to offer them, they more than likely won’t mind if you contact them multiple times. Don’t be afraid of appearing pushy; journalists are used to this sort of thing, and if it secures your story then it will be worth it in the end!
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