As a startup, one of the most challenging hurdles you’ll ever face is building an initial reputation. Obviously, you want it to be good. But you’ve got zero customers, no brand recognition, and little in the way of capital to use for bolstering your company image. That means relying heavily on alternative outlets and inexpensive tactics to get early traction.
One of the most cost-effective solutions is to get your startup featured in a news story. But as are with all things, this is easier said than done.
What are the benefits of media coverage?
A full coverage, or at least a mention, in a high-profile news media outlet or blog can provide massive benefits and give your brand a leg-up. What can they do for you?
- Brand reputation & visibility: The first benefit is brand recognition to a wider range of people. This gives customers and clients the impression that you’re a thought leader starting a new venture, especially if you’re consistently covered by these large news media outlets.
- Customer acquisition: A mentioned brand name can lead people to your website and to your other social media profiles, facilitating customer acquisition incredibly.
- Partner & investor interest: In the early stages of your business, you can even attract vendors, investors, and partners to your startup without hunting for them yourself.
- Recruitment: A successful startup needs the support of a successful team. Your media exposure can help you naturally attract more talent to your business.
How to Receive Media Coverage
Now that we’re clear on some of the biggest benefits of a press release, it’s time to know how to receive the media coverage you deserve and need.
Here are some tips to help you out.
#1 Submit your press release
This is the fastest, and some can say, easiest way to grab media coverage for your brand. Always, the biggest challenge is to find something newsworthy about your startup.
News about your launch could be good, or maybe about a recent funding round, or if you’ve been at your new business for more than half a year, you can write about what major milestone you’ve encountered as a startup business so far.
And then, through press release distribution platforms, you can create or submit your news story. These sites with an extensive media contact list for press releases will handle the distribution for you, giving you a chance to get picked up by a credible news media outlet.
Press releases are branding tools, not SEO tools, but they can also have a positive impact on branded search results as well. Plus, it helps manage your online reputation.
#2 Contact a specific journalist
Alternatively, and if you’re willing to work on relationships for it, you can pick out journalists who report on your niche and get your startup featured on the next or in a story that they write. This is a good idea if you’re after more in-depth pieces, like interviews.
It’s also a great idea if you want to establish a regular contact for any future press releases you may have.
Of course, the challenging part is to get a willing journalist on-board. Keep in mind that they receive hundreds, if not thousands, pitches everyday from all kinds of people wanting a spot on the news. So remember to do your thorough research, and when you find your prospects, work on building relationships with all of them.
#3 Participate in local events
Stay alert for any news of local events. They’re sure to attract media attention. Plus, it’s a good way to get your startup deliberately involved.
To increase your chances of being noticed and even interviewed, we recommend bringing a strong brand presence to the event. That means brandishing company colors, telling your customer base that you’ll be at an event where they’ll get freebies, make formal announcements on your social media platforms, etc.
If you have the budget, you can even try to host your own event to generate the focus to your brand.
#4 Stand out on social media
No, we don’t want you to get into a horrible controversy. That’s not the only way to stand out.
The best thing to do is to set yourself apart from the rest through a content marketing campaign. Lots of modern journalists and media publications lurk on social media to find inspiration or good news material.
So if you can stand out there, the likelihood of getting featured in a news story in your niche is pretty high. Publish content on a scheduled basis, and interact with influencers and your followers to build a loyal follower base.