Media Relations 101 for Startup Founders Raising Capital

After being selected to participate in an upcoming demo day, startup pitch competition or venture capital conference, media outreach will be important to increase your visibility and generate momentum around your company and its market potential. Knowing who you need to contact can make all the difference.

1. Find the Influencers

It is important to know who writes about your industry in blogs, trade publications and social media. You should already be familiar with the ones that cover your industry, but if not, build a list of publications, media organizations and individual reporters who write about your space. Read their articles and posts regularly, so you become aware of what topics are of interest to them.

2. Tailor your Pitch

It is important to emphasize different aspects of your story depending on which reporter or publication you’re pitching. General business reporters will need a unique local angle or compelling fact, whereas a trade magazine reporter might be interested in an in-depth product review. Be sure your story angle is newsworthy to that reporter, because one size does not fit all.

3. Spread the Word

Company growth and market momentum, product launches and customer wins, even an addition to your executive team, can all be of interest to the right reporters, bloggers or Twitter followers. Once you have a relevant story to share, begin your outreach by issuing a press release, submitting blog comments, posting on Twitter and updating your LinkedIn or Facebook pages.

4. Temper your Expectations

It is important to realize that not every interview will be published and not every quote will be used. Good relationships with the press take time and consistency to cultivate. If a reporter calls with questions about your company, be receptive and refer to your key messages as talking points. Stay on message and only share information you are ready to release.

5. Catch the Coverage

Utilize tools like Google Alerts, Twitter and LinkedIn to regularly monitor any online coverage and conversations about you or your competitors. You can measure the impact of your media relations efforts by analyzing your press clips for tone and accuracy. You should also be able to track whether these articles or mentions generated any additional traffic to your website.

"With few exceptions, editors and journalists across the board agreed that e-mail pitches should be more relevant to their beat/area of interest."
“How the Press Uses and Values PR"

Knowing which key messages are most compelling to reporters, bloggers and Twitter followers will increase the success of your story appearing in print or online.

G. Scott Shaw

About G. Scott Shaw

G. Scott Shaw, President and Founder of Everclear Marketing, is a results-driven marketing executive with 20+ years of experience re-positioning venture-backed technology companies, developing breakthrough brand strategies and consistently executing high-growth sales and marketing programs for entrepreneurs, investors and their portfolio companies.