Halloween kicks off a busy time of the year for most tech startups. With the holidays just around the corner and the end of the year near, there’s a lot for the tech news media to cover. So if you want to increase your tech startup’s chances of securing positive media coverage this season, there are a few things either you or your tech PR agency can do to stand out from the rest and prove to journalists that your company is worth writing about.
Here are a few of our top tips to scare up media coverage for your tech startup this fall and beyond.
Plan your media strategy
Before you can dive into sending pitches and press releases to the media, you need to have a concrete media strategy in place. This is when you need to decide whether you are going to work with a tech PR agency or handle media relations internally.
Whichever one you decide to go with, there are a few essential steps to take when planning a media strategy. First, you should talk to key stakeholders to lay the groundwork and determine goals for the media campaigns. Next, you need to map out key messaging about your tech startup. And finally, determine the timing of product launches or important announcements so you can appropriately plan your press releases around them.
Do your research
If you want to get media coverage for your tech startup, it’s essential to stay in the loop with what’s going on in your industry. This includes doing your research into what stories are currently being written and who’s covering these stories. If you’re working with a tech PR agency for media support then they will already have this research done. But if you are working with a lean budget and taking a DIY approach, conducting research on the current media landscape is an essential starting point.
A quick scroll through a top tech website like TechCrunch or VentureBeat will clue you in on what’s currently being covered across the tech startup industry. Take note of any of any topics or stories that are especially relevant to what your startup does and check out the reporter who covered it. This is someone you will want to keep in mind when it’s time for you or your tech PR agency to pitch the media about a recent funding announcement or some other newsworthy story about your startup.
Connect with the right people
Before you can write a press release or craft a media pitch, it’s important to build relationships with journalists prior to pitching. If you are working with a tech PR agency, they should already have a network of media contacts to tap into. But if your tech startup is handling PR internally, then it’s crucial to get on a journalist’s radar before it comes time to pitch them.
After doing some research into who’s covering what, connect with those journalists on LinkedIn and Twitter. By connecting with them on social platforms, you can get a better idea of the topics they’re interested in, read their latest articles, and engage with them. Just be sure that you’re not feigning interest simply in hopes that the journalist will one day write about you. Be genuine in your engagement and the journalist may eventually keep you in mind when a story comes up.
Share your thoughts
Founders and leaders of tech startups certainly aren’t lacking experience or knowledge when it comes to their industry. Thought leadership content offers a chance to share that expertise with a wide audience, including the media.
Whether you are working with a tech PR agency or handling marketing and communications internally, it’s a wise idea to implement a thought leadership strategy. Consider having the startup founder share their take on industry trends and topics on LinkedIn to not only solidify their credibility but also to drum up interest around the startup. Plus, if you’ve already connected with journalists on the platform then this could increase the chance that they’ll notice the content and potentially be interested in talking to the tech startup founder for a story.
If you have interesting data around your startup or industry, the best way to share that with the media is through striking visuals. According to a research study by Cision, journalists are attracted to multimedia assets included in press releases. Data is a lot easier to digest when it’s presented in bright graphics and bold text rather than a text heavy narrative.
Use this to your tech startup’s advantage by creating engaging visuals to go along with the marketing collateral you send with your media pitches. These visuals could include anything from an infographic to a chart relevant to recent data or a research study your tech startup or tech PR agency conducted.
One of the best ways to increase your chances of securing media coverage is actually the most simple: follow up. Journalists are inundated with pitches and emails, with some journalists receiving hundreds of pitches a day, on average. If your startup is working with a tech PR agency for media outreach support, then you don’t need to worry about pitching and following up. But if you are handling media pitching internally, then following up is essential.
If you’re confident in your pitch—you did your research on the journalists and publication, personalized the pitch, and included all of the necessary collateral to go with it—then it doesn’t hurt to follow up. According to Muck Rack’s State of PR 2019 survey, 73% of journalists are OK with receiving a follow up to a pitch they didn’t initially respond to. In other words, a gentle reminder could be all it takes to secure media coverage for your tech startup.