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PR Tips for Startups

StartupYesterday Boston.com, a property of The Boston Globe, ran a great listicle by PR man and 451 Marketing founder AJ Gerritson titled “7 PR Tips for Startups”. Since quite a few firms have startup clients, we think the piece is well worth a read–but we’ll summarize its key points here. Key question: what should startups do to make sure they’re ready to make the most of any and all exposure they receive after going public?

  1. Make sure you’re prepared for the attention. Essentially, the time to ensure that your website looks good, works well and places highly in search engine results is before you put out a press release.
  2. Build your PR toolkit. You may be excited to let the world know how great your company is/will be, but don’t do it without well-written summaries, executive bios, and jpegs (bloggers have to use something as the featured image, you know).
  3. Know your Market. Seems like a no-brainer, but we take this to mean you need to truly know your market–don’t just guess at who your target audience might be. Figure it out through research.
  4. Find partners. It’s much easier to navigate the media minefield when you partner with someone who knows how to do it. Gerritson advises startup PR folks to emphasize that relationship by posting on a partner’s blog or holding jointly sponsored events. Both great ideas.
  5. Craft your story. Of course every startup has an origin narrative that naturally emphasizes and complements its primary selling points, right? If you can’t make it sound compelling then no one will pick it up.
  6. Research and pitching media. Another basic one. Research what your target audience reads so your releases can have the greatest possible impact on your business. Other crucial details: make your pitch succinct and catchy, provide links (we love links), and don’t be afraid to contact media people via social media.
  7. Maintain relationships with media. This one goes back to our earlier piece on pitching to journalists: Keep in contact with your contacts, especially the ones who run your story. Everyone appreciates a little follow-up. And don’t cross media folks off your list if they don’t bite the first time. The more you keep up with people on a personal level, the more likely they’ll be to write about you in the future.

Thoughts? Disagreements? Additional points?

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