Getting media coverage is the ultimate dream for most startups.
But there’s hard work involved for it to come true. It’s like the journey of a thousand steps. Don’t worry, though. Using practical tactics combining tech and PR, you’ll be covering a lot of ground in about six months.
Are you ready to commit?
The six-month stretch
‘Think about PR in the long-term’ is good advice. But sometimes, looking far ahead into the future causes us to fear. What if we fail, etc?
So, a mid-term challenge like the six-month stretch sounds more practical. The stretch refers to how long you’ll have to set up PR before launching a product or service. You have six months. What do you do?
We recommend the following steps:
1. Align, align, align
Don’t treat public relations separately. It’s best to include it in your digital marketing plan because it also has to align with your business goals.
Your PR campaign should target the same audience you will engage via content and social media marketing. This will depend on which phase your startup is in. Do you want to talk directly to investors, your first 1,000 users, or both?
After that, dig some details about media outlets. You should match their audience with your target audience. Journalist-turned-PR-strategist Merredith Branscombe suggests tech press for VCs; vertical outlets for partners; consumer press for users; and business press for all three.
Tech press – TechCrunch
Consumer press – Mashable
Business press – Forbes
2. Go deeper
This simply means doing research before making contact.
Once you’ve narrowed down publications, look for writers who are reaching out to your target audience. You can do this manually. But you can also use a tool like Hey Press. Just enter your niche or topic, and a list will appear containing names of journalists, their social accounts, and their articles.
Follow and engage with them on social. Skip the cold calls.
Next, work on the angle of your pitch. Reporters are storytellers who have high standards for what counts as compelling. Some things you can include in your email:
- The problem
- Your solution
- Data to back your claims up
- A link to a live website with useful info about your startup
On the other hand, avoid the following:
- Subject lines containing words like “interview opportunity,” “press release,” and “RE:/Fwd”
- Flowery words
This is where PR and content marketing strategies meet. Create valuable content early on. Make sure you have About, Services, and Blog pages even before emailing that pitch. And go easy on self-promotion. Nothing turns off press people faster than a hard sell.
For content planning, get keyword ideas from Google Keyword Planner. Then, think of a topic to search for on BuzzSumo. What’s nice about BuzzSumo is it shows you which articles are performing well for your chosen topic.
4. Connect with bloggers and influencers
You may also consider influential bloggers in your space. But be wary about social media influencers. Sometimes, building a relationship with a few established bloggers is a smarter investment. Again, look at the audience fit.
If you can’t yet decide on the right people, join a community like MyBlogU, the HARO (Help A Reporter Out) for bloggers.
This tactic has a downside: it can be time-consuming. If you have big fish to fry, you’re better off spending money on a PR agency specialising on PR.
The six-month stretch isn’t a magic carpet ride toward getting good press. But it also makes tech PR less of a chore and more of a workout. It gets more exciting as you start seeing the results.
Hope you’ll enjoy it!