How to get the initial press coverage

Entrepreneurs often hit the wall when it comes to getting the communication out for their startups.

Published: 25th May 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2017 11:05 PM   |  A+A-

Entrepreneurs often hit the wall when it comes to getting the communication out for their startups. Barring a few digital blogs that founders directly approach, they have little idea on how to communicate with the mainstream media. Press releases about your start-up cannot just help you get customer attention but also help in enforcing trust with your investors, teammates and prospective partners. And here’s how to go about it:

Identifying an effective message:
An effective message is one that would excite the reader. Thus, remember that the message you would like to get conveyed should have a strong reason to get noticed. Effective messages can be of five types:
i) New product (or technology) launches (if yours is a one-of-its-kind-product)
ii) State/city launch events
iii) A milestone achievement — When I say milestone I do not mean internal company milestone but rather one that even a common man would recognise as big
iv) Funding or finance-related accomplishment
v) News that would interest a common man. For instance, a major mainstream partnership or getting a prominent (widely-recognised)
board member.

Once you have identified the message, the next step is getting the word out. Here is a general flow:
1) Early on, identify an internal employee to manage public relations for your startup. Preferred if the founder can be that person in the initial startup days, because no one else would be able to better explain the company vision and values than the founder
2) Craft a press release for your news. The press release should include:
i) A clear headline, for example, XYZ announces launch of ABC
ii) The first paragraph should talk about the announcement followed by the second paragraph about the specifics of the announcement
iii) The third paragraph can be a quote from a CEO or founder on the announcement and the impact that this is going to create
iv) The fourth paragraph should talk about how this will impact the industry, in an overall manner
v) The last paragraph should tell briefly about your startup, its history, clients, and if possible, future targets
3) And now the last step — Approach a journalist through email (preferably) or reach out to the newspaper desk. You can even consider hiring a PR agency for this purpose.
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