If you find yourself reading this, it may be because you pitched TechCrunch about your startup’s VC fundraising and failed to get the story picked up.
Don’t beat yourself up. These days, it’s a pretty tall order to get into TechCrunch. You’re not the first startup to find yourself in this position.
Some startup founders don’t care much about getting into TechCrunch – perhaps they don’t see any value a TechCrunch write-up has in helping them scale their revenue growth. However, other founders view TechCrunch as an important validation of their startup and welcome the SEO and brand boost an article can bring.
Wherever you fall on that spectrum, it might help to at least know why your startup didn’t get covered so that you can better your chances the next time you close a funding round.
Your funding amount was too low
Some 10 years ago, when Swyft started pitching TechCrunch, the amount companies had to raise to be taken seriously by TechCrunch reporters was in the low seven figures, sometimes in the high six figures. Over the past five years, seed round and Series A funding amounts have reached pretty flashy levels. It’s not uncommon to see $10 – 100+ million raises, but most are below that. Still, the more eye-popping the amount you raise, the better your chances of getting a TechCrunch reporter to respond.
You failed to follow up
If we said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times – follow up on your pitch campaigns! If you didn’t make it into TechCrunch, it’s possible your PR professional gave up after one try.
TechCrunch reporters are among the busiest in the business. They likely receive up to several hundred pitches daily, so getting their attention the first time is challenging. We’re not suggesting you become a nuisance, but a couple of follow-ups are reasonable, provided you’re professional in your communications.
You started late
You missed the boat if you wait to pitch TechCrunch within a week of filing your funding paperwork. If you wait until the last minute to pitch, you likely won’t have the time to get their attention – let alone give them the time to do the research and work it takes to crank out an article for their editors to review and approve for publication.
Your best bet is to start pitching 2-3 weeks before your formal announcement date. That way, you give TechCrunch plenty of time to respond, research, and write about your upcoming funding event.
You pitched the wrong reporter
Unforced errors are often at the heart of why funding announcement campaigns fail to get media pickups. In this case, if you picked a TechCrunch reporter who covers an entirely different kind of industry – say, media technology as opposed to B2B SaaS – your pitch was doomed from the start.
Of course, it’s always possible that a reporter responds if your funding is impressive or if you catch them at a slow part of the day. But, more likely than not, they will ignore your pitch, and it will fizzle without a second thought.
You failed to offer an exclusive
In some cases, you may want to allow TechCrunch to be the only media outlet to cover the VC funding announcement. It’s a tier-one media outlet with a huge following, so missing out on pick-ups in smaller trade publications is well worth the sacrifice.
If you decide to follow up with some smaller trade verticals, give it a day and then reach out. Even though the news would have been covered, and it’s no longer considered ‘breaking news,’ some trades may jump on it as they care more about covering industry-related news as a principle instead of being the first to break the news.
You didn’t share enough information
Press releases are still the norm for sharing big news announcements, and VC funding events are no exception. If you didn’t use a press release, or you were too vague or brief in your description, then you likely shot yourself in the foot; a busy reporter wants to know the facts and see them in an easy-to-follow format so that they can quickly decide whether to pursue the pitch.
Information that’s considered table stakes for a funding announcement includes, but isn’t limited, to the following:
- Background on the startup (amount raised, VCs involved, industry, technology, proof points, customer quote if available, etc.)
- Names of and quotes from key founder(s) – include a headshot of the founder
- Names of and quotes from lead investor and secondary investor – include a headshot of your lead investor
- Explanation of how the money will be used
- Boilerplates of startup and participating VCs
- Contact details of your PR professional or agency
If you left TechCrunch hanging by not providing enough information this time, then be more forthcoming on your startup’s next funding announcement.
You’re outside the Bay Area
If you don’t reside in the Bay Area, it’s harder to get the love of a TechCrunch reporter. That’s mainly because the Bay Area is the birthplace of the VC – startup model and has a massive infrastructure supporting tech innovators.
As a result, it can be more challenging to get the attention of a TechCrunch reporter due in part to that bias. And can you blame them? With so much innovation and the largest concentration of VC firms and major tech companies on the planet, they don’t have to look far for their latest startup funding announcement.
Swyft can help
For those seeking an agency that understands how startups work and brings the kind of innovative thinking that leads to coverage in news outlets like TechCrunch, Swyft is ready to help. We have dynamic scoping and pricing strategies designed to deliver measurable gains in both news coverage and brand awareness no matter where you are in your startup journey.
Want to learn more? Reach out today!