How to's, Startups

7 beneficial tips for startups to get free press coverage

Mohammad Farooq Written by Mohammad Farooq · 2 min read>

Startups have ideas that are flowing with creativity and innovation. These ideas can lose their value if no one gets to know about them which is why press coverage is important for startups to share and grow their ideas. However, it can be challenging for young startups or small businesses to spend a large amount of money on press coverage. Today, we are going to highlight seven essential tips that startups can use to get free press coverage.

1. Keep an Active Blog

An active blog is necessary for gaining coverage and reaching out to the right audience. You can put your product out to test, understand its shortcoming and refine the product based on the feedback. You will be able to get new ideas and features for your product. Most importantly, you will know what your target market is interested in and what feature is of high demand out there.

2. Approach well-known journalists in your domain

The best way to get free coverage is to approach the writers rather than a blog. First, create a list of writers, next follow them on social media e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Try to take an interest in what they share on social media and interact with them ocassionally, comment on what they write about, retweet and share their articles genuinely! Don’t over-share and don’t retweet for the sake of it because it can be annoying.

3. Pitch your startup’s value

The stories that you pitch should possess a significant value to it. It’s critical that you do not portray your startup as a marketing ploy to get covered. Good writers/journalists take into perspective the value your startup can provide for their readers instead of what the actual product is about.

4. Be professional

Always avoid pitching too many ideas to journalists. They are used to being spammed with ideas every other day. Be careful, and send 1-2 emails with ideas in a week ideally. Before sending an email to pitch the idea, it is recommended to drop them a tweet asking if it will be possible to drop them a line on a story that you want to be covered. Try to add a persona to your email exchanges with journalists, be professional and courteous while replying to emails. It is also significant to have a one on one rapport at times which can be helpful.

5. Word of mouth

The old school way of ‘Word of mouth’ marketing should never be forgotten. It may have lost traction recently, but its power to impress and spread is still very much residual. A solid PR can land you coverage where even conventional media may fail to garner enough traction. So this medium of communication still retains its advantages and charm so to speak.

6. Getting an introduction & endorsement from an influential person

If you know any influential or famous person in your field then gaining an introduction or endorsement from them can act as a great tonic to gaining press coverage. If that individual puts a word in for your startup to a journalist it may be of great help.

7. Exclusivity

Exclusivity means everything for journalists to gain a competitive edge over their peers. So when a journalist agrees to give you a press coverage, make sure that its exclusive and limited to the said journalist only. There is nothing worse than promising an exclusive to a journalist and then talking about another coverage behind their backs. This can tarnish your startup’s credibility and goodwill in the digital media world.

 

 

 

 

Written by Mohammad Farooq
Farooq is currently writing for Dawn and TechJuice. He is also volunteering for Digital Rights Pakistan. Profile