How To Get Your Startup Noticed By The Media

You have a great product, strong userbase and are making your presence felt in the market. But without media coverage your visibility will suffer.

So how do you get noticed by media? I recently spoke at a Startupbootcamp event about this very topic, so here’s my advice on how to get your startup noticed by the media:

1. Know what journalists want

Learn what journalists are writing about, then send them news that is relevant to them, with a catchy subject line to grab their attention.

2. Be specific

Make it easy for the journalist to write about you by providing all of the information they need in one go. This includes quotes from founders, images and key stats about your business.

3. Have a good press release

This includes everything from having the right formatting to creating an eye-catching headline that will make someone click on it and read more. Make sure you include not only quotes but facts and figures that can be used as statistics too.

Have you ever spent a lot of time writing an article, promoting it and trying to get exposure for it? If the answer is no, then you are not alone. The majority of startups I interview say that they do not have the time to write content.

But what if I told you that spending just a few hours a week on creating content could boost your business quite significantly?

In this post I am going to share my top tips in getting your startup noticed by the media.

The most overlooked startups don’t have a marketing or PR budget. The ones that do, spend it wisely on awareness campaigns and smart strategies (as opposed to expensive ones).

Awareness is the first step towards getting noticed by the media. If you’re not aware of who’s writing about your space, who’s writing about your competitors, who’s writing about you, and who you’d like to be writing about you then you’re less likely to get noticed by the right people.

Here are a few ways to get started:

1. Google Alerts – set up alerts for brand mentions, keywords, competitors and industry news;

2. Twitter – follow media outlets and journalists in your field as well as curated lists like TechCrunch’s Top Tech Bloggers, Michael Arrington’s CrunchBase Curation List;

3. Feedly – create a RSS feed of the top blogs in your space and follow them regularly;

4. LinkedIn – the advanced search function allows you to look for people with certain job titles at certain companies;

5. HARO – Help A Reporter Out is a great way to connect with journalists looking for sources (you can also submit press releases but I wouldn’t recommend it);

6. Followerwonk – this tool

Your startup has a great new product or service, and you’re ready to bring it to market. But how do you build buzz in the first place? How do you reach potential customers? And what do journalists want to hear from you?

The answer is that journalists want to hear about something new and interesting. Whether it’s a new product, service or company, journalists love innovation. And that’s where your startup comes in.

As with any industry, the best way to get noticed is by writing a great press release and emailing it directly to the journalist. This way they can read all about your new venture in just a few paragraphs, and decide whether they would like more information.

They don’t want a phone call – unless you have an announcement so significant that it’s worth their time right now. They don’t want to click on links – if they did they’d be on Facebook, not reading your pitch email. And they certainly don’t want attachments – if you start sending them PowerPoint presentations or Word documents, they will delete them immediately.

So what makes a good press release? It needs to be short and snappy of course. A single page is ideal; two pages should be the absolute maximum. Journalists are busy people and if your release

There is a lot of advice online about how to get your start up noticed. I thought I would add one more blog to the mix.

I recently had an experience that was very relevant to this topic, and it taught me some important lessons about what works and what doesn’t.

The story started when I saw this post on Hacker News: Startup Ideas We’d Like to Fund.

It was a great idea for a HN post, but as you can imagine, it generated a lot of noise and not much signal. There were no good ideas in there, just people shouting “Me! Me!”

So I replied with this comment:

The most important thing when trying to get press is to know what the reporter wants. If you can figure out what their goals and challenges are, then you can tailor your pitch to help them solve those problems. Reporters are just like anyone else – they’re much happier doing business with friends than strangers.

To that end, I spend a lot of time searching for stories about startups. Before I start reporting a story, I go through my RSS feeds to see if there’s someone I know who might have insight into this topic or story. Then, I start looking at companies that might fit the bill. For example:

Recently, I was working on a story about coworking spaces in Philadelphia. I started by looking at our coworking directory and combed through it for companies in Philly. Then, when I couldn’t find any coworking spaces there using that tool, I went through the list of local startups and noted which ones worked out of coworking spaces in Philly. That gave me a list of companies to contact and ask where they worked and why they liked it there.

This tool has helped me tremendously both as a reporter and as an entrepreneur looking for press. And now it’s yours!

We are still in the early phases of the web. The first generation of web companies were all about creating brand new things. But now we’re starting to see that the next big thing will be the companies that take these new, seemingly abstract ideas and turn them into practical products for ordinary people.

Google is an example of a company that took an abstract idea and turned it into something useful. It’s not as if people didn’t know about search engines before Google; it was just that no one had thought to use one as a way to find stuff on the web. They thought of it only as a way to find other search engines. Google was the first to realize how much more valuable search would be if you used it not just as a tool, but as a destination in itself.

The same thing is starting to happen with e-commerce sites like eBay and Amazon. These are not just places where you buy and sell things, but destinations in themselves. (Amazon is even trying to become a place where you buy food!) These companies understand that there are certain types of activities–like shopping–that lend themselves particularly well to the web, and they are building their businesses around that understanding.

The point is, I think we’re still at an early stage where

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