The goal of this series is to teach you how to do the same, and in order to do so we are going to reverse-engineer what I did. This comes from my experience as a writer for VentureBeat.com, as a founder of multiple startups, and as a marketing consultant.
PR is important
In fact, I’d argue it is one of the most important forms of marketing. As the web becomes more crowded, editorial coverage allows you to differentiate your company, and it can improve a startup’s bottom line, reputation, and help a company raise money or be acquired.
The most common form of press comes from newsworthy company announcements that are sent to the media.
Understanding Press Releases
When a company has a newsworthy announcement, it notifies the media by creating and sending a press release. These press releases are emailed to publications – companies can use a press distribution service such as PRWeb.com, however journalists will rarely look to these services for story ideas.
It is important to note that the majority of stories written about originate from press releases. Websites such as TechCrunch, which encourage users to contact email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org, do read these emails every day. Therefore, if you are wondering why your startup has not been featured in the press, you should ask yourself, have you sent out any press releases?
The most significant step is to email your press release to journalists. If you are wondering which individuals to contact, we spent 100 hours creating a free comprehensive tech reporter contact list.
What To Write About
The next step is to determine what to write about in your press release. Journalists are looking to write articles focused around story-lines, and because of this it is important to clearly outline your story in your press release.
A company’s story-line should be summarized in one sentence and it explains why the article is relevant. An example of this is:
RapidValue founder Rajesh Padinjaremadam launches company to disrupt the mobile development industry.
Remember that these announcements should be meaningful. Although your family may care that your startup redesigned its logo, the majority of readers don’t. Examples of popular stories include startup launches, acquisitions, and fundraising events.
When writing a press release, remember that these documents follow a specific structure.
After you have determined your story-line and have begun writing a press release, understand that these documents are different from most that you have written in the past. Press releases are not meant to be read by the general public, and in fact they may feel uncomfortable to read. Reporters know that the press release they receive is also sent to many other reporters, and they use these press releases to pull out information that they will then rewrite.
For Part #2 in our series, we will be outlining how to write your press release, and we will highlight a way to improve your chances of editorial coverage by 100%.
To recap from this first article, to optimize your chances of press coverage for your startup, what is most important is that you email your press release to journalists, and that you clearly state why your announcement is meaningful.
Conrad Egusa is a partner at Brownstein & Egusa and is the Co-Founder of Espacio, which is a co-working space and entrepreneurial center located in the heart of Medellín, Colombia. He is currently a mentor at The Founder Institute and he was formerly a writer at VentureBeat. Conrad can be reached at conrad(at)brownsteinegusa.com
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