How to maximize media coverage for your startup funding round

Mary Jenkins
How to maximize media coverage for your...

It’s just not fair. There are plenty of newsworthy events in the tech world that the media completely ignores. Why? 

For one, there aren’t nearly enough journalists to cover everything that’s going on in the industry. Unfortunately that’s a factor that is out of your control. However, the other big issue is that a lot of talented entrepreneurs know how to pitch to investors but can’t figure out how to talk to reporters. Fortunately, with the right PR expertise, that is a factor you can control.

Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to get your early stage funding round covered. 

Start early 

Don’t wait until the last minute. Start planning up to three months ahead of the funding round and start trying to get in touch with reporters two weeks before. If you don’t give reporters enough of a heads up, they may have their plate full with other stories by the time you get in touch with them. 

Your goal is not just to ensure that the media covers the funding round, but that their coverage includes as much context as possible. The earlier you get in touch, the more likely that crucial context will make it into the story. Otherwise the coverage may focus entirely on the publicly-available financial documents. 

Customize the pitch

You have to consider different angles for different media. At the very least, consider different angles for the following three types of media outlets: 

  1. Tech media 
  2. Trade publications specific to your vertical (cybersecurity, health care, SaaS, etc.)
  3. General interest and business publications 

While a national tech publication, such as TechCrunch, will be more interested in the technology itself, a general business publication will be more focused on the economic aspects, such as the investment and the number of jobs created. A local or regional outlet, including big city papers or TV stations, will want to hear about the specific impact on the community. 

Quality over quantity

Sending out a mass pitch to hundreds of reporters is not the best strategy for coverage. You are more likely to generate meaningful coverage if you identify a small group of reporters (perhaps a couple dozen) and reach out to each one individually. 

Show them that you’re reaching out to them not just because they’re a reporter, but because you believe they are a good fit for the story. A good practice is to reference some of their past work. For instance: “I really appreciated the context you offered in your recent piece on the Zoom IPO. I have a story that I think you’d be interested in.”

Another way to get a reporter’s attention is to offer them an opportunity to break the news before everyone else. However, you should only offer this to a very influential outlet (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Wired, TechCrunch, etc.) 

Get the word out on social media

Make sure to promote the funding round across all of your social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. If enough people start talking about it on one of those platforms, media outlets will take notice. 

Curious about the numbers behind media coverage of funding rounds? Austin tech PR firm, Swyft analyzed 2020 startup fundings and the resulting media coverage. Check it out below:

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