As a startup, you will have had to put a lot of effort into building an initial reputation. Without customers, little recognition and very little initial capital, you’ll have had to rely on alternative and inexpensive tactics to give you a chance at an early progression.
One effective way is by getting featured in the media.
Through media coverage...
✔️ You can properly introduce your startup to the public so they will be better informed about what kind of products or services you are offering
✔️ You could attract an investor to fund your startup, or maybe co-founder to collaborate with
✔️ It will be easier for you to find top talents who wish to join your team when you start to gain visibility and reputation
Now - this is obviously not easy, especially when you cannot offer something new or attractive for the media to cover.
But hold up, hey!!
Don't panic, yet
Just check out these 8 tips on how to become more visible in the media.
Submit a press release
Yourstory suggests starting with your story. This is the easiest and fastest way. Find a newsworthy event that represents your startup value and mission, write a press release and submit it to prominent media platforms.
You might be wondering what to write when you have literally just started your business.
And this is fine! You could try to write about:
A piece about your business's launch
A recent major milestone
A big event coming up for your company
The more news platforms you send it to, the more chances you will have for some of them to pick up and publish your piece.
Pitch a problem and a solution, not your startup
You have to bear in mind that it’s not about you, but about the needs of the media outlet’s target audience. Along with this, you should be aware of the problems that your tech startup is solving. Does your product or service save time or money? Can it improve someone’s daily routine? Is it filling a gap in the market?
Make your pitch stand out by focusing on the solutions you can provide for a specific audience.
Don’t make your pitch sound like a press release
Nowadays, most press releases are a mix of some dull fuzz composed of a few company statistics and numerous boring quotes.
Don't expect a response if you craft your pitch to sound like a press release because it probably won't blow anyone's socks off. Making it short, packed with details and straight to the point will win every time.
Help them understand your startup and you will have a higher chance of getting replied back.
Leave the ego behind
Placing a story in a local newspaper or industry title might be far more effective than a double-page spread in regional or trade press. It has to be where your target people look to within a specific area or industry.
Get involved in local events
You should contact the event organisers of the events taking place around you and offer yourself to be a partner or host for the event.
Make sure they are events that are sure to attract media attention - a deliberate choice to get your startup involved. You can sign up to be a speaker in the event or even volunteer to help out at a charity event.
Whatever it is you can do, do it. This way, you will have an extra chance to be noticed.
Be on social media
Many journalists look to social media for information or inspiration. If you can stand out on social media, you have a chance of getting featured in the media.
Introduce your startup on social media. Create useful and interesting content, then post it and update it as often as possible.
According to Janet Murray, Twitter is the best platform to connect with journalists. It can be a smart move to make twitter lists of journalists you’re keen to connect with.
Learn how to use Twitter Lists here.
Reach Out And Build Network With Journalists
You can identify and work with individual journalists to get your startup featured in a newspaper. But first, you have to approach them and politely introduce yourself and slip in information about your startup.
If you can present your story in an appealing way, there are great chances that journalists will be interested in bringing up the news about your startup.
Never forget to follow-up
When journalists are interested in the story, they usually pounce straight away, but in a busy newsroom, things can get missed. So don’t be afraid to chase up pitches by phone or email.
Allow three to four days for a follow-up. Include an attractive piece of information like a new major sponsor, or analytics about your startup or the market in which it operates.
In conclusion: With these strategies, you should be able to get your startup featured in the media, even if you've had no exposure at all. Keep pushing the limits to force yourself into higher and higher circles. It's worth the investment, believe me.