If your start up is going to succeed, then it is going to need to get itself known. While a lot of people may think that that is solely a social media ball game in the 21st century, don’t undervalue the importance of the traditional press.
Plenty of startups neglect the benefits of the traditional press, some out of suspicion and others because they believe that the only way to get favorable coverage is by hiring a PR firm and that doesn’t come cheap, especially with all the other costs starting a business incurs.
It doesn’t have to be this way though – here are four tips to help your startup get media coverage without having to fork out on a PR firm.
Make connections with the media before your startup launches
Journalists, and in particular business journalists, can offer you valuable insight before your startup has even launched. They will have been around the block enough times and seen enough startups both succeed and fail to know when an idea is a good one. Ask them for their opinion and suggestions for your startup. Not only will you be getting a potentially invaluable insight into the strengths of your startup and areas where it can be improved, but you’ll also be forming a relationship that could prove to be invaluable when it comes to getting your name in the news.
Identify what each media outlet deals with and how it fits into your niche
If you want a media outlet to publish a story about your startup, you need to find a way to tie it in to what they report on. That’s easy enough with a local newspaper – new shop opens in town stories run all the time – or a trade magazine as they’ll be interested due to their coverage of your specialism. If you want to go bigger with online publications, find an angle that they will be happy cover. If you wanted to try and gain publicity on a site such as Consolidatetimes.Com for example, then find a business or technology angle to what you are doing and they will be much more likely to run with it.
Provide story ideas in which you might feature by association
Your startup business might stumble across or be part of a story that can help you gain publicity through simple association. Say you’ve got the one of the oldest living Americans as one of your first customers – let your local media outlet know and the next thing you know, they could be running a story on how a 114-year-old woman is so fit she still shops at your business. That might be at the extreme end of the scale, but even having a connection with a minor league baseball player who has used the offseason to work out in your gym can provide a good local story and get your startup media coverage.
Keep the contact details of every journalist you deal with
Just like in every walk of life, every journalist is different. They will have different opinions on what they think is a good story, what is interesting to their readership and what they want to cover. Just because one journalist has no interest in your startup, doesn’t mean another won’t. Keep the contact details of every journalist you come across and keep contacting them until you find one who is willing to tell your story. Don’t give up and you’ll get the media coverage your startup needs.