Making the Most of PR Opportunities for Your Startup

Reaching out to media, building relationships with journalists and creating a credible platform for the founders are all important for a startup hoping to get positive media coverage. They are important but they take time. But there are also some simple actions that anyone can take to ensure that they are not missing any opportunities that come by.

Everyday there are people writing about new trends, new technologies and new ideas. Very often they reach out to a number of startups in the field, hoping to find a founder who can give them a useful insight or a valuable quote. Responding to these inquiries is simply routine for companies big enough to have a PR department or a PR agency. For many lean startups it's the founders who have to take care of this role. So how can they do it better?

Be Easy to Contact. One interesting test you might want to try one day is to ask a person unfamiliar with your business to find your media contact information. This should be very easy to find on your website and it should include at least an email address and a phone number. Web forms are a very bad idea because you never know if anything will happen. Usually when the only option is a web form I just ask another company that is easier to contact. If you have provided an email address and a phone number then make sure that they are monitored. Never post an email address if the mails just pile up unanswered.

Respond Quickly. Once you receive an email from a journalist always respond immediately to say that you saw it and that you intend to respond. At this point you could also clarify what they want and the deadline. This fast confirmation is important. Often someone will contact several companies and simply use the ones that respond first. Wait too long and you miss the opportunity.

Give Usable Quotes. When media asks for a comment they are usually looking for something that they can quote. Quotes should be original so don't ever use a line from your website or brochure for a quote. People can and do check. Try to keep the tone conversational. Imagine that you are simply talking to someone. Don't use the peculiar, stilted language of the cheap brochure; try to sound human.

Don't Just Talk About Your Product. And don't just pitch your product. Sometimes general comments about a class of product, an industry or a trend can be the most valuable part of an article. This establishes you as a thought leader and makes it more likely you get asked to comment in future.

Deliver on Time. But most important of all, if you promised to deliver a comment by Tuesday you have to deliver it on time. Be just one day late and you might miss the window for that article. Much more seriously, you also ensure that you are not going to be asked next time someone needs a comment for an important article where you could have been quoted as an expert.

Lectures, Workshops, Coaching and Writing

For lectures, workshops, one-to-one coaching and writing about startup PR and other communication topics you can contact Andrew Hennigan at, on 0046 730 894 475.


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