Running a start up is in itself a tough challenge and imagine when you are in your early days, you do not know how to reach a wider audience . If you are not funded by one of the top tier VC firms or if you do not have the ability to get to a techcrunch and if you are building something that may not hit instantly with tons of users or app downloads like how a meerkat or Periscope or Foursquare did , then this may help you.
Of course you do not have money to splash on newspapers/ ads like housing.com does. You ain’t no Flipkart or Zomato for press to reach out to you almost every week to find out how much you have raised or whom you have acquired. You are not the star entrepreneur who already had exits or successes, then read on..
You fairly gauge that some online portals or newspapers writing about you (atleast whom you follow/read) could get you some mileage (few more downloads for an app or few more website hits) . How do you get featured where you want to?
So, before writing about this, let me tell you what little credibility we have so far. We have been written more than 30+ times in various media including mainstream print (Business Line, Times of India, The Hindu, Business Standard, Indian Express, Live Mint, Jagran CityPlus etc) apart from popular online startup portals (Yourstory, NextBigWhat, iamwire, withstartups) few tech portals (Techstory, Techportal, Geekopedia, Techgyd) and lot of startup friendly online (Startupfreak, Startupshowcase, Socialproma, Indianbizparty,Indiiamanthan). Every one of them did not come without effort and here are few takeaways and shall be happy if it helps some of you.
This blog is more of my experiences in getting someone to write about you:
I have gone through some excellent material online and specifically one at Rodinhoods (Alok Kejriwal not Arvind :-):
Most recently I had interacted with Mike Butcher, Editor at Large, TechCrunch and his tips for getting featured in TechCrunch is at the following location:
Google a bit and you might get tons more but this blog is more of my experiences in getting someone to write about you from an entrepreneur’s perspective rather than whom to approach:
1. You need to have a beautiful consumer story- If its a great value proposition or even an amazing fad, you will see traction going like mad. If you are just launching, atleast have few 100s of beta testers giving you feedback. Rely on everyone whom you know to shape up your story and take feedback seriously.
2. Segment and Target – Start with low hanging fruits and target them aggressively – someone who is receptive to taking your story , someone reachable and responds relatively fast as they might help very early stage entrepreneurs with their news platform which may or may not have huge audience but it helps you.
3. Both online portals and mainstream media journalists want stories that their readers will be interested in if not hooked to. So, your concept, app, website, service has to be positioned uniquely (may not necessarily be unique) and create use cases around consumers. What will you like to read ? Think always. Read it ten times and then send them.
4. What you write for an online portal is different from what you write to a mainstream. Based on the size of the article, feed them with interesting facts, snippets etc
5. Journalists are really nice people and when they like you and your story, you can always get them to write about you. In fact they also introduce you to investors as well as anyone else if you need help. Follow what they write about, read , comment etc if possible else be straight in telling them what you do and asking them to cover you if it interests them. Feed them with interesting stuff, connect them to some people who can tell other stories -both get benefited
6. You as a Founder can only talk about your venture. No PR agencies , no help. If you are too bad with either the language or grammar, write a brief and get someone to correct that.
7. Lastly, always remember that news reads news. Once you are in 1 mainstream news, reaching out to the 2nd becomes easier unless you have something exclusively to write about. In such cases never send the same stuff to 2 people. Get 2 articles with sweat, you can easily get 5 and this only goes on increasing.
Always send out a ‘Thank you’ note after your article gets published. They are good and you being good to them is equally important.