One of the biggest hurdles that a startup faces is building the initial reputation. Whether you want to build awareness about your brand or want to get the word out about your new product, you need to get started with PR for your tech startup in order to build credible recognition.
Every startup wants to gain visibility in their industry, and use that recognition to generate leads and conversions. Appearing in the media could make a huge difference for your brand image and make you stand out of the crowd.
The problem lies in doing PR for tech startups efficiently. It gets tough because of tight budgets and a lack of strong relationships with journalists. However, what tech startups don’t realize is that most of it can be achieved with minimal spending or even free of cost with some simple tips.
Here’s a guide with 7 tips on how to get started with PR for your tech startup:
#1 Create a Great Pitch
Firstly, you need to choose a target journalist. Read their previous articles thoroughly to understand their interest areas and how your idea could add value to their matter. You need to think from their viewpoint and ask yourself if the piece would be of interest to the reader.
Pitch them a story and not your company. Your company or your product might not be interesting enough to be pitched to the media. You need to add a broader story or a message to your product, and that’s when it will shine. Once you have your story ready, mail it to the local newspapers or news sites. Start small at first, and work your way up gradually.
Try to provide as many reasons as you can to them to publish your story. If it’s good enough someone will definitely pick it up. However, if they don’t, try to get their feedback on it. Use it to work on your story and make it better, and pitch a better version again.
#2 Give them something Newsworthy
You might create a great pitch with a great story and brilliant ideas. However, did you ask yourself if your product is worthy to be published about? Especially, to the publications that you are targeting.
If not, you need to improve your product and make it solve a problem that the media would like to talk about. However, if you feel that your product is newsworthy and is ready to be published, you need to make sure that you make them feel the same way about your product.
Build a great story around your startup and your product, and tell them what is so special about your company or your product. Also, if on a normal day your startup or product doesn’t come across as newsworthy you need to find the perfect opportunity for it to come across like that. For instance, you can use one of the below scenarios for your tech startup’s PR
- Launch of your startup
- Launch of your new product
- Release of an interesting study
- Entering a high profile partnership
#3 Use Social Media
A great way to get PR for your tech startup is by building relationships with journalists. Meeting them up for lunch or drinks might not be the best option, because if you are not coming up with something newsworthy every time, they might stop taking you seriously and consider it a waste of time.
Most writers are active on social media, they share their articles on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and even when they are looking for new matter. Follow their social media accounts, stay in touch with them, learn about them better through their social media posts, and modify your communication with them accordingly.
Comment on their posts whenever possible, that too in a way that you create an impression on their mind about yourself. Use the platform to make sure that they are well aware of you and your startup.
#4 Research your Journalist
The key to effective startup media coverage is researching and finding the right journalist for your brand. Your pitch could mean a great deal to one writer and unworthy to another. There are a lot of factors that help in deciding whether a particular media outlet would be interested in writing about your brand or not.
Firstly, you need to research the media outlets that write and publish about your industry. It would be better if you start with smaller media firms, as they would be keener on publishing about your brand, than the big ones.
Read the published articles of these media outlets to understand which ones match the best with your interests.
Create a list of media outlets you think cover brands closest to yours. Reach out to these outlets for your startup media coverage.
Tell them how you relate to their published pieces and why you think your brand would be a great fit for them. If your research is good, you might crack some or all of them to publish about you.
#5 Unique Selling Point or USP
Do you know what sells better than your brand or your product? Your USP. If your product or service solves a problem in a way that no other product does, or if you approach something differently from others, use it to your advantage.
For instance, Domino’s Pizza came up with a policy that if you don’t receive your pizza within 30 minutes, you will get it for free. Now that’s a unique attribute to write about.
#6 Don’t send the same pitch to every journalist
Just like your pitch, a journalist reads so many more every day. They can easily tell the difference between a generic pitch and a customized pitch that is tailored to specifically match their standards.
Even if you are pitching about the same thing to everyone, make sure you customize your pitch as per every journalist after researching them in detail.
The more they connect with your pitch, the higher your chances of getting them to publish about your brand. It does require some extra effort, but to get media coverage, you will need to go that extra mile.
#7 Set Reasonable Goals
Well, like for any activity you need to set some goals you need to do the same for your tech startup’s PR as well. Set a couple of reasonable goals and focus on them.
The different goals could be something like:
- Increasing brand awareness by getting featured in renowned publications
- Building awareness about a new product through niche publications
- Portraying yourself as a thought leader to grab the attention of investors
When your goals are clearly defined, it’s easier to judge whether your strategy is working or not. You can adjust and work around it if it’s not working. Setting goals and working towards achieving them is a great way to get PR for your tech startup.
Tools and Platforms to help you do PR for your Tech Startup:
- HARO or Help a Reporter Out is an online service for journalists to connect with public for quotes, inputs, and data. By signing up for HARO, you can keep tabs on stories that your target journalists are doing and send them your inputs to be included in those stories.
- Press.Farm is one of the largest media databases for startups and growth-oriented companies. They offer a host of other services as well.
- Coverage Book is a simple tool that will calculate the Life Time Value of any PR coverage that you receive. It will also create beautiful PR summary reports in minutes.
[BONUS] 50+ Tech Startup PR Agencies in the US
If you wish to outsource your tech startup’s PR process and feel ready to bring on board a PR agency, we have put together a list of 50+ Tech Startup PR Agencies in the US:
Additional resources to get visibility for your tech startup:
- Video Marketing for Startups
- Content Marketing for Startups
- Influencer Marketing for Startups
- Startup Marketing Trends for 2020
With the above-mentioned tips, tools, and list of startup PR agencies, you should be able to get the desired startup media coverage, even if you’ve had no previous exposure. Every time you get PR or media mention, it gets slightly easier for the next time. You can start from smaller media outlets and as your brand gets more and more recognition you can even start getting PR visibility from high profile publications.