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How to Pitch the Press and Get Coverage for Your Startup

To increase their chances of success, starting companies need much more than innovative ideas, amazing team, and the favor of angel investors and VCs. Startups need to establish strong relationships with their clients and to build a network of loyal customers and brand influencers. For that reason, understandably, startups need publicity.

In the world that we live in, customers are constantly exposed to advertisement. Brands and businesses compete for the attention of their clients and spend most of their budgets on acquiring new ones. It doesn’t matter how innovative and valuable your product is, you need to make an effort to spread the word about it.

Most startup founders are busy with the development of the product and have no time to focus solely on spreading the word about their businesses. On the other hand, hiring a professional PR firm when you operate on a tight budget is probably out of the table. Is it possible for startups to get coverage without to spend a lot of money for it?

It is! But it isn’t easy. Luckily, there are some great tools that can help you hack your PR strategy. Check them out here.

But using software won’t be enough. There is another thing you need to do – it is free, it isn’t a rocket science and is extremely effective, – and it is to master the press pitch. You will be surprised to see how many similarities there is in the way you pitch for investment and the way you pitch for media coverage. When you craft your press release, keep in mind the following:

There is a mutual interest

If a journalist decides to publish a piece on your company, that means they saw a good story in it. You have given them a story to tell and an inspiration for a good content. Journalists and bloggers look for interesting stories and, if you give them a really, really good one, they will be happy to cover it. In your press release, make sure you present your business in the right way – explain what you do, why it is valuable, what problem you solve, and how you change the landscape in your niche.

The similarity with investor pitching: Many entrepreneurs are afraid to pitch investors. It shouldn’t be this way. When you pitch an investor, you are presenting them an opportunity to be part of an exciting journey. You are not simply taking their money; they will get a lot in return. In both cases, press pitching and investor pitching, there is a mutual interest. It is your job to unveil it!

Pitch to the right person

Of course, the bigger the publication you are covered on, the more people you will reach. But it makes no sense to reach a vast audience if your product won’t be of their interest. Choose the publication you want to be featured on according to the essence of their audience.

Know which editor covers stories like yours and get in touch to them. Many journalists turn down stories because they are not particularly in their domain of interest and the interest of their readers. Pitch editors, who are familiar with your industry. They will understand better your business and will make more informed decision.

The similarity with investor pitching: Having an investor on board, who will give you money, is not enough. They should be the perfect match for your company. The right investor brings much more to the table – mentoring, advice, a team of experts, connections and so on. The right investor will understand the potential of your company and will help you to grow it faster. In both cases, press pitching and investor pitching, you need to conduct a research, act strategically, and segment the list of people you want to reach.

Pitch briefly but give resources

Journalists don’t have much time to read a long press release. They will get bored or distracted and probably won’t care much about everything you said in your email. Keep your press release short, to the point, and, as we said, present the value and unveil the story potential.

Once you get their attention, they will need more information. Well, give it to them beforehand. Make it easy for the journalists to get more information by including links to your website, a demo, videos that explain the product, attach visuals and so on.

The similarity with investor pitching: The investor pitch should be concise. In many cases, 5 minutes can be even too much. Entrepreneurs, who give too much information during their pitch, can confuse the investors. Stick to the key points, give the information that is important to the investors and be prepared to show them more if they want to know during the Q&A session or after your pitch is over.

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