Securing funding for your startup is a major milestone worthy of high-fives and a little bubbly.
But the grind doesn’t stop once you’ve landed a big investment. In order to maximize news coverage, solidify your credibility in the industry, and, let’s be honest, boast your success, it’s crucial to write a press release about your startup funding announcement.
A press release is just one piece of the larger campaign around your funding announcement, but it’s an essential one nonetheless. It may seem like something you can quickly whip together, but a press release needs to be well thought out and carefully crafted to ensure you don’t miss any key information that reporters will want to know about.
Here are the key elements that go into writing a press release around your startup funding announcement:
Talk to key startup leaders
Before you can start writing, it’s essential to talk to the startup founders and leaders to get talking points for the announcement and help provide the framework for the overall release.
To determine the best talking points to use, think about what a reporter will want to know about the founder and the funding. It’s standard practice to share a bit of backstory on the founder’s journey, but you should also break down any key metrics that demonstrated the startup’s growth, the tipping point for success, what ultimately led to the VC investment, and how the startup plans to use the funds for future growth.
At this time, it’s also important to get quotes from the founder and startup leaders. These soundbites will likely be what reporters will use (unless they interview the founders themselves) when sharing the news of the announcement. Be sure that the quotes not only talk about the investment but address the core values of the startup. This press release is an opportunity to increase brand awareness, so it’s important that the underlying message of the release is in line with the startup’s mission.
Gather information on key investors
As this is an announcement about startup funding, it only makes sense to include info on the key players. Aside from the actual funding numbers, information on the VCs involved is something that reporters will want to know right away so it’s important to include this talking point early on in the press release.
Be sure to list every VC involved in the funding as well as their respective funding levels. It’s crucial to ensure that you get this information correct and don’t leave anyone out as any misinformation will only reflect poorly on the startup.
If you can, it would also be a good idea to get a quote from the lead VC investor. Getting an investor to speak to why they chose to invest in the startup can further build the credibility of the funding and help round out the announcement nicely.
Arguably the most important element of a press release is the headline. This is the first thing the media will see, so it needs to pull them in and immediately let them know what the announcement is about.
When crafting the headline, keep it short. The headline should sum up the major points: who and what. Lead with the startup name, followed by the amount of funding, and use active verbs. You can write the headline first to give direction to your release, but just remember to go back and consider how to refine it to be even more effective.
If you’re unsure about how effective the headline is, shop it around to your key marketing or communications colleagues to see what kind of impact it has and if the right message is coming across.
Try not to give too much information away in your press release’s introductory paragraph. Too often inexperienced writers will stuff way too much information into the first paragraph. It’s better to keep your intro brief with just enough information to keep the journalist interested in learning more. Repeat such key details as funding amount, what kind of funding it was (e.g., Series A), a brief description of your startup and its key offering, as well as which VC firm was the lead investor.
Make it measurable
While the overall purpose of the announcement is simply to share the news, you likely have a few other goals you want the press release to achieve, like brand awareness, website traffic, and of course, media coverage. In order to determine if the press release is effective at achieving these goals, it needs to be measurable.
For instance, you can (and should) add a link to your website’s home page and even, where appropriate, a landing page that speaks to some specific aspect of your offering. This step will ensure the impact of inbound clicks and allows you to track the results. For more insight, check out our previous post: How to measure PR using Google Analytics.
As a finishing touch, don’t forget to include supporting collateral like images. Visuals are key to rounding out the announcement and making it stand out.
Gather key visual collateral—images of the founders, the product, or anything else that’s relevant to the news—and make sure it’s accessible in either a secure, dedicated folder in the cloud or in a press room on your startup’s website. You can point reporters to the folder or let them know that you can provide more on request. Either way, visuals should not be overlooked when writing a press release about your startup funding announcement.
Don’t forget contact information
Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to add the contact information of who the media should contact in the event they want to cover your startup’s big news. Provide the name, email and phone number of either a key member of your team or a representative of the PR firm you hired to help with the announcement. The key is to make it as easy as possible for a busy journalist with hundreds of other news pitches to wade through daily to find and reach out for more information.