At Breega, one of the ways in which we support our startups is by organising regular workshops on the day-to-day challenges of running a business. As many of our younger startups have been making their media débuts in recent months we decided to take a closer look into the world of press relations.
If you’re an early-stage startup looking to make your first media announcement a success and you’re wondering where to start, then the following tips n’ tricks are for you!
1. Make sure your news is newsworthy
Take a look at the news you’re looking to share and make sure that it really is news-worthy. Your news should be something that is unknown, relevant and interesting to people outside of your company, you want to avoid reactions like this.
If you want me to give a monkeys, keep it relevant.
2. Be clear on your goal(s)
Defining your goals, ie: brand recognition, customer acquisition, recruiting top talent, etc. before contacting the media will allow you to better target your audience and the publications you pitch to. For example, if you’re a B2B platform looking to win new customers, think about pitching trade reviews rather than a daily paper. If you’re looking to promote your brand to investors ahead of your Series A raise, then an article in a popular tech publication should help to get their attention.
Are you speaking to me?!
3. Create a compelling story
Once you’re clear on your target audiences and the publications you want to pitch, contact the journalists with your news and present it so that it will appeal to their audience. You can do this by shaping your news into a narrative and linking it to a larger piece of market news or general trend. Example: if your business is a new dating app that’s growing fast, pitch it in terms of the impact it’s having on the dating market. if your company protects connected devices from piracy, your angle could be the explosion of IoT devices in the workplace and home. Share all facts, figures, use cases and anecdotes that will help to make your story a compelling one.
Wow, this is so interesting!
4. Pitch your story to the press
Many companies chose to communicate via the tried and trusted press release that they diffuse to as many journalists as possible. While the spray and pray tactic can work you’ll likely get better results by researching the journalists of your chosen media(s) and pitching to them directly.
5. Time it right
Finding out the daily timelines and deadlines of your chosen media and when they go to press will help you figure out the best time to contact the journalist. Give them plenty of time to prepare their article by sending them all the necessary information well in advance. Make sure that information comes with a clearly written embargo (the date and exact time at which it can be published) to stop your news from escaping.
Once it’s out there, it’s out there.
6. Build relationships with the media
The average mainstream media journalist receives around 400 emails a day in his inbox. With this in mind, you should take time to meet the journalist before you pitch to them. Keep in touch afterward and share info and insights even when you’re not pitching. Journalists are after all people like the rest of us.