Startups, send out to journalists as you would to VC

Startups send out to journalists as you would to VC.jpgsignature4d70e31fc9f85ccaf63773427de39757

Unicorns, rainbow, seed, pre-seed, angel… my head was spinning as I changed fields a year or two ago. After ten years in PR, comms, and journalism - having worked mostly for the 'big guys' with their big partners like Sony, P&G, HP, Cisco, Netflix, etc - I went to -into the deceptive world of beginner PR. I was completely new here, honestly thinking VC meant 'video chat'.

But the turn meant more than learning a few new acronyms. When you say to a reporter "Hi, I'm from Google," well, they may know without it that you need to introduce yourself. When you say “Hi, I'm off [insert startup name, anyone from pre-seed to series A], ”It's a tough show.

I swim in the starting waters very comfortably now, but it has been a learning curve. I have to make the distinctions between PR for big world names, any old SME, and do it for beginner levels of all sizes. The biggest lesson? Enter your reporters while you go to VCs.

So, here's how I came to that conclusion, along with my ideas, humorous learning, and honest thoughts, which are perfect for:

  • Early startups are not sure what to expect from PR
  • All prospective founders of the Financial Times cover

Let's dig in!


    1. PR can have an effect

    If you get a good piece of cover for Sony (hello, my old employer), you fill a row in a cover manager, and… that's about it. Job done.

    Don't get me wrong, there's a place for PR as a tool for big companies that has been established for years now, but the impact it's has is usually not close to what you can do. to start at any stage.

    After they posted a full - blown piece on the BBC to begin with, my client told me that they had a pipeline of 30 bluechip companies behind the cover.

    This is one of my favorite, most rewarding startups to date - I really made an impact on the company, for the individual founder who is trying to change the world through the power of technology. I thought that was amazing. So yes, PR can really do for a start.

    Note: this is not a sales area at all. I, or any other PR, cannot guarantee anyone to get them on the BBC. Also, if your suggestion is not of strong value or the timing is not right, no cover will do you a miracle. But that's for a different article.

    2. Difficult (stand out)

    Figures provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and analyzed by Tech Nation show that nearly 20,000 start-up businesses were born in the UK in 2022. That means every 30 minutes, a new entity fight not only for attention from VCs and customers but also for the journalists you want to write about. Not to mention your global competition.

    Such as TNW, Sifted, Techcrunch, and UKTN get hundreds if not thousands of PR domains every day.

    “I get around 70-80 individual interview ranges in a day, and for pressmen and editors, the mailbox goes longer than 500 hours. It's just a hoax, "I was told by Akansha Srivastava, the editor of UKTN.

    In other words, this place is packed like the Burgh Market on a sunny Saturday. You need more than just your idea or an innovative solution (journalists don’t like that word) (or this one, really) to stand out. And never try to buy them - just in case you were thinking about it.

    Also, remember that nationals do not have specific beginning writers, and tech journalists must follow editorial rules - often outlining criteria you should meet in order to come across enough credit to the reader.

    Similarly to the investor's mind, if a journalist decides to write about an early start stage, they would choose one that they believe will fly, so in five years, it may They said, "I was the first to write about them when they wanted to be a team of 20 people and now they're going IPO."

    So you have to work hard to make them think that there is a place for you in the market.

    3. It is useful and fun

    From bone-bearing technology and voice recognition to Bitcoin and IoT, I love watching innovation happen from the front row. And this is not just about tech. I have been fortunate to meet some inspiring founders, marketers, writers and salespeople, most of them full of passion and commitment. And some of them are bloody good at telling stories.

    READ  Exotec Warehouse Robotics System Raises $ 335 Million - TechCrunch

    As mentioned, you often need a lot more than just a good product to stand out among hundreds of competing domains. On the way to what we, PR people, called ‘stories,’ startups often learn a lot about themselves.

    They discover new aspects of their product, gaps in brand positioning, and founders meet great journalists and pick up a few things in person. So PR is a useful exercise that will help shape your pitch for investors and prospects as well.

    4. The startup community is cliquey

    The good news is that it's not too big - still. You can quickly find a way to identify the best startups, sherpas, VCs, and consultants.

    Bad news, everyone knows everyone, and it can feel a little… cliquey to outsider - more than other groups of journalists I worked with.

    So it's worth the effort to put some time and energy into building personal relationships with journalists. As for my previous point, remember, a high - profile journalist talks to both your competitors and the VCs, so these guys know a lot and have a lot of intel. you get from them too.

    5. The bulls and the bears - temporal issues

    The risks and the adrenaline involved in building a startup are not too different from trading, and in my experience, most of the founders either fall into the the bull or the bear division.

    I’ve met startups founders who wanted to get in ... all the time. The types who wanted to be interviewed were usually Forbes after the $ 200K pre-seed funding. I'll let you down.

    Some - not many - do not want to be covered by national newspapers. They want to stay low level, especially at the beginning, pave carefully before taking too much away into the competition.

    While considering a time when it comes to delivering important news to a company of any size, the world where advanced innovations and the fight for investor attention play the same roles range, it is extremely important.

    6. Expectations are often as real as the prospect of meeting a unicorn in real life

    It's your beginner's and you just want the best for it (read the broadcast in FT or 'at least' Techcrunch). And what do you establish this expectation?

    • You just launched it and you want to change the world
    • You have £ 10m funding in tier A.
    • Or £ 90m in series D.
    • You grow 50% year over year

    While that's good news for your company - every journalist (and strong PR) asks - in the best possible way, 'and what? 'There are thousands more, what impact are you making?

    From being turned down 186 times to living a dream come true

    I recently read an insightful and honest article from Pavlo Maherovsky and Sam Gluck, founder of Honest Health, entitled “From the rejection of 186 investors, to being found by the market leader: A story about Honest Health. ”

    In the article, Factory Founders alumni entrepreneurs talk about the lessons they learned about fundraising. Here's my take on how the bumps on the tour relate to selling stories to journalists:

    1. You need to add your story - Yes, your company's story needs to be clearly thought out, for both investors and journalists.
    2. Understand your place in the ecosystem - VC is deceptive and so in the media world, different journalists target different parts of the ecosystem. That is why research is fundamental.
    3. Line Investors prefer the dots - So with journalists, they want to see a draw.
    4. Momentum is everything - Your first study is likely to lead to the second, and the same applies to media coverage.

    That said, you may be turned down a few times before you get permission from a journalist, and that's fine, it's part of the journey.

    But if you spent months tuning your pitch deck and then just sent a few general emails to the best beginner journalists expecting to know you and love you and write about you … You may be embarrassed.

    My advice to founders is to think of journalists as key people in the startup ecosystem. Don't expect overnight miracles from your PR team.

    I like to believe that (almost) everything is possible, including FT broadcasting. After all, who would have thought that a unicorn would become a reality 20 years ago, right? But always be aware that good coverage takes time, effort and creativity.

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