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How to Get Media Coverage for Your Tech Startup

By June 20, 2024No Comments
Media Coverage for Your Tech Startup

Securing media coverage for your tech startup can help you build brand awareness, drive business development, get in front of prospective investors, and attract new talent. Journalists have extensive knowledge of their subject areas and receive hundreds of pitches a day, so if they choose to feature your startup, your brand can automatically benefit from third-party endorsement from a knowledgeable industry expert. As a result, PR is estimated to be between 10 and 100 times more valuable than an advertisement!

But how do you generate tech startup media coverage if you’re new to PR? When is the right time to start thinking about tech PR? And what are journalists looking for? Read on for our guide to startup PR success!

Getting started with PR for your Tech Startup

Getting started with PR for your tech startup

When it comes to PR, consistency is key. While some major news announcements can drive results as a standalone, it is always better to think about startup PR as an ongoing process that will steadily increase your visibility over time. It’s therefore important to first consider whether you have the time, resources, and budget to commit to PR in the long term. If not, it might be better to wait until you’re able to commit to a regular pipeline of activity to ensure you don’t build relationships with journalists and then disappear!

Secondly, establish clear objectives for the PR programme. Knowing which personas, verticals, and size of companies you’re looking to get in front of will enable you to tailor content to the audience you’re trying to speak to. Having a clear target audience in mind will also help determine which publications to pitch to. Most publications will offer details on the size of their readership, and the professions of the people who read them. While the level of detail varies hugely – some publications will offer a percentage breakdown of each vertical and seniority, while others will be more general – this information should be used to inform any media engagement. That way, you can ensure the titles you’re appearing in are ones your target personas will likely read.

Given startups are frequently looking for investment, many will be after coverage in business titles. However, business press journalists will often look at a company’s media presence before deciding whether to speak to them, and so a strong presence in trade outlets can be an excellent jumping point to national opportunities.

Appointing a PR agency

Once you have an idea of objectives for your startup PR programme, it can be good to bring on board a PR agency to help execute the programme. If your objectives aren’t 100% finalised, the agency can also give guidance on what you should aim to achieve with the programme and how success will be measured. For more information on how to appoint a PR agency and get the most out of working together, check out our guide here.

How to stand out

At the start of any startup PR programme – whether it’s run by an agency or in-house – it’s critical to think about the messages you want to communicate, and what makes your offering interesting and different from others on the market. If this is your first time doing PR, journalists will likely have little to no knowledge of your company, so it’s important to contextualize what you do, show how your solutions solve a key challenge, highlight endorsements from well-known customers or investors to demonstrate credibility, and spotlight the experience of your leadership team.

Think about your answers to the following questions:

  • What is unique about your offering? What are your USPs over your competitors?
  • What are the major drivers for your solutions? What challenges does it solve? How does your company align with areas of interest (for example, does it help compliance with upcoming regulations, combat a new and emerging type of threat, or help overcome a major skills challenge)?
  • What are the core benefits you provide? How do end users benefit?

Once you’ve established these, then think about the evidence you have to support your points. This could be in the form of customer case studies, analyst reports, or industry research, but will help to demonstrate to a journalist who may not be familiar with you who you are, what you do, and why you’re qualified to speak on a topic.

As a general rule of thumb, journalists are looking for content that is topical/timely, relevant to their readers, unique or unusual, and stories that impact the heart or the wallet. So, when thinking about what to pitch to a journalist, aligning your expertise with a major news story or showing how real people are benefiting from your work can increase your likelihood of engagement.

Don’t go in for the sales pitch

When looking to secure media coverage for your tech startup, it’s critical to remember that journalists aren’t prospective customers – and don’t want to be treated as such! Avoid the use of marketing jargon and false claims, for example, words such as ‘leading’ and ‘innovative’ – unless clearly backed up by evidence – are likely to cause a journalist to disengage.

Journalists are also increasingly becoming less receptive to product news and more receptive to thought leadership. Therefore, when looking to drive startup media coverage, a sales-led pitch about your latest product is unlikely to get picked up. Instead, think about the issues related to your offering that you might be able to comment on. For example, Eskenzi has helped countless cybersecurity start-ups generate coverage in top-tier trade and national titles via rapid response commentary on industry stories such as data breaches, regulation, or cybersecurity research.

This provides our clients with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the sector, position them as cybersecurity experts, and offer meaningful guidance to the market. Focusing on opportunities to demonstrate your thought leadership is likely to have greater appeal to journalists, and will open the door to other opportunities to talk about you as a company.

Perfecting skills with media training

Perfect skills with media training

Ahead of starting a PR programme, it is also worth undertaking media training for your key spokespeople, even if they’ve had media-facing roles or training previously. During a media training session, your spokespeople will be guided through what journalists are looking for, key tips and tricks, and techniques for promoting key messages and navigating difficult questions.

Media training will be tailored for your company and each spokesperson’s remit and experience, and will conclude with role plays to get hands-on experience! Furthermore, the techniques learned in media training aren’t just helpful for journalist briefings. They help spokespeople to better communicate important points, revert to key messages following challenging lines of enquiry, and bring to life the benefits of your solutions – skills which can be invaluable for investor meetings, speaking opportunities, company presentations and more!

Tech startup PR success

Tech startup PR success

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to securing media coverage for your tech startup, in taking the time to define key messages and USPs, solidify your personas and build thought leadership positions that align with the news agenda, you’ll be well-placed to launch an impactful PR programme. Appointing a tech PR agency with startup experience can be a great place to begin, and can help to supercharge visibility for your company to support your long-term success.

For more information about how Eskenzi can increase brand awareness for your startup and to discuss our startup PR offering, please get in touch.