Startup Press Release

You will absolutely want a startup press release for big news. There’s no getting around it! From Becky Viera of PRyou.

But there is a Startup Press Release issue! Jason Baptiste in 13 Ways to Get Press When You Launch Your Startup clarifies, “The media has hundreds of startups pitching them everyday and vying for attention, so your startup needs to stand out in the crowd. Best ways to do this:
  • Tell a story that will transfer from your mouth to the journalist’s keyboard to the reader’s eyes. If you can tell a story that intrigues and grabs people, journalists are far more likely to write about you, as it also drives attention to their product also.  For example, Apple only aired the 1984 ad once, but received over five million dollars of free publicity due to everyone talking + airing the ad again on the news.
  • Be Prepared Technically-before you launch and send out press, be sure everything is ready to go technically.
  • Segment Your Startup Press List-Based upon the exact angle and topic of the publications you want press.  Example: for an iPad app focus on Traditional Tech Blogs, well-known bloggers who could use the tech, WordPress Publications/Blogs, Apple/iPad focused blogs, Traditional media looking for iPad stories etc.
  • Ride a Wave-The best way to get startup press release attention is to ride the wave of an already big trend being talked about.
  • Give a Taste of the Future-give a glimpse of where you are going. It provides the path for future stories from the same online source.
  • Be Brief-Keep your pitches short and make sure the basic gist fits into the first glance of a GMail subject line
  • Give All Links to Detailed Resources– Keep the actual pitch email very short and to the point with a call to action. For more detailed information, link to it inside the email.
  • Startup Founders vs. Public Relations Firms-Journalists also get a bit of an ego stroke when they deal directly with a founder (in a good way). It means a lot to them when an actual founder reaches out and takes the time to answer questions/deliver a pitch.
  • Give Direct Contact Info & Be Quick– You should also give priority to whatever they need to get the article out – screenshots, giveaways, further facts, go to tech conferences and events. So be aware of good ones to attend and try to make connections.
  • Try to Make a Connection Beforehand-Bloggers/journalists get paid to go to tech conferences and events. So be aware of good ones to attend and try to make connections.
  • Don’t Copy/Paste and Mail Merge to Journalist-Make the effort to know where you are seeking to get press.  Write your startup press release for that market and to a specific journalist.
  • Follow-up-Getting a piece of press coverage is A LOT like making a sale. Not following up on a warm sales lead is foolish and so is the same with a journalist.
  • Offer Something to Readers-Usually in the form of early invites to the service or a limited number of free premium account.
  • Stunts Can Be the Firestarter-You need to find a way to rise above the crowd and be a proverbial Purple Cow. Once you have the spotlight on you with massive attention it makes it a lot easier to get attention in the future for more mundane things such as product launches.
  • Leverage Your Contacts-Being backed by the right angel or VC can be insanely useful. Ask around for someone connected to a press outlet. By doing a partnership with an already recognizable brand, you increase the likelihood that a press outlet will take a liking to your pitch.
  • Jason Baptiste’s example of his press release pitch to Tech Crunch blog of their new Padpressed launch was one of the best for an example.
Hey Mike, Launching PadPressed tomorrow at noon EST and TC gets free reign on an exclusive before then. PadPressed makes any blog look and behave like a native iPad app. We’re talking accelerometer aware column resizing, swipe to advance articles, touch navigation, home screen icon support, and more. We’ve built some pretty cool tech to make this happen smoothly, and it works with your existing layout (iPad layout only activated when the blog is accessed from an iPad). Okay, I’ll shut up now and you can check out the demo links/feature pages below, which are much more interesting than my pitch. PS- Would also be happy to do giveaways to TC readers. Thanks again and feel free to reach out if you have anymore questions (skype,phone,etc. listed below). Video Demo: Live demo site (if you’re on an iPad): Feature overviews My contact info: email, Phone, Twitter, Skype. What about the typical press releases? Press releases can be BORING. Write an email that’s heartfelt, meaningful and personal to one journalist at a time. Treat members of the media the way you would investors. In the end, this initial time investment will be worth its weight in gold.  Here are some other examples of press releases for startups from Quora: Input on Writing a Press Release  Along with the excellent input above, there are several articles links below on formatting a press release: 6 AP Style Rules for Press Releases is a concise article on some specifics on other writing details, along with The Golden Rules of Writing Press Releases Where do I send my Startup Press Release? Once your press release is written, it is time to put it to work; you should consider distributing it as suggested above to specific tech blogs and journalist. “It can also be sent broadly through a wire service that will send it out to thousands of media outlets. Depending on your budget, you can either use a paid (PR Newswire and BusinessWire) or free service (PRLog or 24-7 Press Release). Be aware: the free services will prompt you to purchase upgrades for better exposure.  Don’t rely just on a distribution service; you will also want to pitch your news to media, consider posting the press release on your own website (if you have a news section), or share it with employees or customers when relevant.” From Becky Viera’s article below. Have your marketing materials ready and accessible – design images, videos, text and special offers with your audience in mind BEFORE you start contacting tech bloggers and journalists. From 7 Places to Get Publicity for Internet-excellent input for focusing your press release and its impact.

Just keep in mind that the press release isn’t the end-game. It’s only a tool to help your message get out about new product, funding, etc.

Online Resources for Startup Press Release ]]>