So, you’ve created a startup. That’s great, but without the proper brand recognition and publicity, you’re unlikely to capture a reporter’s attention. That’s why it’s vital to build your startup’s reputation, make contacts, and spread the word. How can you do that?
Most entrepreneurs understand the value of media coverage, but often lack that little bit of knowledge to take advantage of it.
Here are 7 tips to get your startup featured in the news.
Build a relationship with key journalists
Besides gaining recognition vis-à-vis your clients, building a relationship with a few key media players can also help your startup attract new talent, draw in business investors, and help increase your brand’s visibility. If you have a tech company, get to know the authors and editors of the technology section of papers and online publications.
Likewise, if your startup is in the fashion industry, do some research to find out who’s who in the fashion media.
It might be worthwhile investing a couple of hours and a coffee to get to know the media better. In some cases, they may even share what they really like to cover, so now you have a better understanding on how to get your startup in the news.
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Write press releases or something more than a short email
Making a press release is perhaps the easiest way to let people know who you and your business are. There are literally thousands of new businesses out there. So reach out to the editors and journalists at the publications where you want to be featured. Read the publication to learn their tone, interests, and focus. Then write an interesting release outlining what your startup is aiming to achieve.
If you want to focus on the startup’s founder or CEO, consider arranging an interview. If you are focusing more on a particular niche, start by telling the story of how your startup fits into that niche, and what you are doing to make that community better.
Build your brand
If you don’t have a strong brand, then your startup is not ready to be featured in the news. Make sure you have all the details down:
- What your startup aims to do
- What it stands for
- And where precisely it is innovating in the market.
Also make sure the tone, look and feel of your brand are refined. Once you are featured in the news (via a press release, article, or blog post) remain consistent so the customer recognises you in the marketplace. Know your story to a tee and have it perfected before people start talking about you.
Do it right the first time.
Stay up to date on what’s making the news
Perhaps there is a particular topic in your industry that is just buzzing on the internet. In that case, research the story and ‘newsjack’ it—create your own spin on the story a get your startup involved as a supporter, an advocate, or a solution. Tell people why you are relevant and drive the news to you. Make sure to avoid controversial news topics and sites that may tarnish your reputation.
We recently piggy-backed onto ongoing issues around cybersecurity and lack of consumer interest in online security measures, to get our client featured in the news through a contributed article.
Find your niche’s community
Today, everyone with an internet connection has an online community. If you don’t know the different groups your startup resonates with, then you haven’t done the proper research. Perhaps your startup overlaps the interests of several online communities. Find the Meetup, Facebook, and Linkedin groups where these people congregate and create articles or blog posts catered to them. Another way to do this is by reaching out to the leaders of these groups and asking if you can write for them.
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Publish, publish, publish
No one will ever find you if you do not continuously create and publish great content pertaining to your startup. Don’t wait for people to ask who you are. Show them with a content marketing strategy that pushes information about your startup via all the social media channels you can. The more times an article or blog is posted about your startup, the more exposure you’ll have, and you’ll have a better chance of becoming a newsworthy story.
Don’t be shy to reach out
Rome wasn’t built in a day. News organisations won’t be interested in your startup unless you are consistently reaching out to them with news of all the great things you are accomplishing.
Don’t be shy. Let news outlets know what you’re doing—and tell them again. Reach out with any interesting information you may have. If your stories are good enough, they may just reach out to you.
We recommend providing consistent updates to the media, but not going overboard. A good trick to figure whether your news is interesting is to put another company’s name in the headline and see if you’d actually want to read that. If no, then the chances are, no one else will want to either.
About the author
Terng Shing is the Founder and CEO of SYNC PR, a PR and content marketing startup that uses technology to reduce time wasting and administrative tasks in delivering results. Based in Singapore, Terng Shing has been focused on helping startups and SMEs build their brand story through media and content.
His experience includes a decade of work in PR and communications agencies, managing top-tier fortune 500 companies to the leading startups in Southeast Asia. Terng Shing has a passion for innovative communications and is convinced that PR is the next great industry to see positive disruption.
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