In the dynamic realm of PR for startups, understanding the nuances and timings is crucial. Priscilla Vento, the founder and CEO of 30 Miles North PR, a recommended partner, joins us for this Mucker Growth Series discussion to unravel these complexities.
When is a good time to start doing PR?
For startups eyeing investor attention, initiating PR efforts after securing a seed round is key, especially when gearing up for later fundraising. Investors invariably conduct online research, emphasizing the importance of a strategic online presence.
Regardless of the platform, crafting impactful messaging about your company, founders, and products is important. Whether landing features in esteemed publications or curating stories on your blog, these efforts serve as essential SEO strategies, enhancing your visibility during critical fundraising stages.
How has PR changed in the past five years?
The landscape of Public Relations (PR) has undergone significant shifts in the past five years tied to technological advancements and global changes. The pandemic acted as a catalyst accelerating transformations in how outlets, journalists, and PR professionals interact. A noteworthy evolution has been the monetization strategies of news sites, where ad revenue and pay-to-play models have become prevalent. Ad revenue, driven by clicks, can determine a journalist's success. Meanwhile, paywalls have emerged requiring subscriptions for premium content. The rise of pop-up outlets and specialized PR firms, particularly in sectors like cryptocurrency and green technology, has also shaped the industry's dynamics.
This dynamic environment has strained journalists' bandwidth, however, with the influx of pitches and story ideas leading to shifts in PR-journalist collaborations. These changes highlight the intricate dance between startups, PR professionals, and the media, necessitating adaptability and strategic engagement in the evolving PR landscape.
How to DIY PR as founders?
What is newsworthy? And What is NOT newsworthy?
In the complex realm of DIY PR for startups, discerning newsworthy elements is essential. The following events are potentially good opportunities for PR:
- Funding Announcements: Funding announcements have evolved with the threshold for newsworthy raises increasing; rounds surpassing 2 million, even up to 15 million, catch the eye of major outlets like TechCrunch. Strategic pitches to niche platforms are essential, emphasizing tailored storytelling for industry-specific resonance.
- Partnership Announcements, New Product Launches, CEO Appointments, Acquisitions, and Revenue Disclosures: Especially for Series A funding, these captivate media attention. Transparent revenue reporting, though rare, builds investor credibility.
- Product Launches: Major outlets may overlook feature additions on product launches; focus instead on pitching niche platforms, leveraging blogs, and using LinkedIn to enhance visibility. Wire services often prove vital for investor updates, while smaller, industry-focused outlets play a pivotal role in long-term PR strategies.
- Sponsorships, especially for conferences, aren't press-release worthy; smaller events' newsworthiness hinges on scale. Large conferences suitable for press releases and local event calendars like Locale LA are ideal for meetups or mixers. Prudent PR resource allocation aligns with an event's significance, ensuring optimal impact within the industry or community.
Issuing Press Releases Through Wire vs. Directly Emailing an Outlet
In the realm of PR strategies, distinguishing between issuing a press release via a newswire and directly emailing an outlet is crucial. While using a wire service like PR Newswire or similar can disseminate news widely, it doesn't guarantee major outlets like TechCrunch or Forbes will pick it up directly from the wire.
In the case of GameMine, a press release was shopped to outlets first; it garnered attention from VentureBeat. Then, the same release was distributed through a wire service, landing on Yahoo Finance.
However, simply posting on a newswire doesn't ensure pickup by prominent outlets. When using a wire service, timing is crucial. Waiting until after an embargo or exclusive agreement lifts and giving outlets a chance to publish first is wise. Moreover, the effectiveness of free news wires differs significantly from paid ones. Free services have limited distribution and often don't syndicate news to prominent platforms like Yahoo Finance. While a wire service boosts SEO and offers visibility, its reach and impact depend on strategic timing and outlet selection.
Pitching directly offers a more meaningful connection with journalists, earning trust and credibility for your company. Earned media, backed by reputable outlets and reporters, enhances your story's optics and widens its reach. While wire services like PR Newswire offer visibility, their effectiveness depends on timing and strategic selection of outlets.
Additionally, reaching out to journalists through social media can work if done respectfully, with concise pitches and links to detailed information. When crafting pitches, keeping them brief, clear, and tailored to the journalist's beat is vital. Researching reporters and journalists thoroughly ensures you approach the right professionals for your story. In the ever-evolving media landscape, strategic and personalized PR efforts yield the best results, ensuring your startup's narrative resonates effectively.
Thanks to Priscilla Vento for sharing this information.
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