If your startup is in the early stages of securing capital, now’s the time to start getting high-ranking media coverage for your brand - and fast.
Because the quality of the investors you manage to attract will largely depend on how many potential partners will want a seat at the negotiations table.
Whether you’ve just closed your seed round, series A, or even pre-seed, here are the top five reasons you should be pursuing press opportunities right now.
Like the saying goes, “you’re only newsworthy once you’re newsworthy,” and the majority of investors and VC (Venture Capital) firms prefer to see a healthy press trail and positive media coverage for any of the startups they plan to back.
A publicly accessible news and press history is great because it shows a high degree of commitment on behalf of the startup team itself (because it takes time and effort to actively market a new brand or venture) and it also provides an instant proof-of-concept to any startup’s ‘big idea’ (i.e. their core product or services).
A growing startup can use their pre-existent media coverage to help leverage new and better deals down the road, and if consumers and major communication networks are already excited, then watchful VC companies will definitely follow suit.
Like a chain reaction, once you’ve established a proven track record of media coverage it’s much easier to secure more. Just take our client Bubble and Spike, a luxury pet training leash retailer that was trying to break into the competitive pet accessories market.
With less than a month to go until the end of their Kickstarter campaign, we crafted a hard-hitting PR campaign to get more eyes on the ‘Super Slip Leash,’ their prototype product. The result? In only a matter of days, we landed coverage on over 450 online media outlets, including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and The CW.
Thanks to the added media coverage, Bubble and Spike secured enough backers to exceed their initial funding goal. The founders even used the initial press coverage to score an interview on a local TV station not long after.
So in conclusion, when the timing is right brands can (and should) leverage past media exposure for additional press. The trick is to identify the important discoveries and events that make your business uniquely interesting. Just launched a new product?
Brought a new partner into the fold? Done with beta testing and ready to acquire new users? Then make sure people can read or hear all about it on a credible news outlet.
To piggyback off our last point, don’t forget that your funding rounds ARE relevant and timely news, if only for a short amount of time!
If you take advantage of a big funding round announcement and tastefully name-drop the powerful backers from your VC firm and their connections, you’ll have an easier time getting inbound offers for coverage than other competing startups with fewer newsworthy developments.
Even if your PR budget is small, think strategically and invest in media placements for key business developments and corporate power-moves in order to maximize your startups’ precious time in the spotlight.
Nobody is going to buy a good or service from a provider that isn’t seen as an authoritative source, no matter how cool it may seem. And that goes double when you’re in the early stages of your startup, because a) people don’t know you and therefore b) they have no reason to trust you.
Good press is one of the simplest ways to build instant credibility in your field and make consumers more willing to transact with your business.
Let’s say this a little louder for everyone in the back: It’s. Never. Too. Early. For. PR.
We often hear early-stage startups tell us that they don’t feel ready to invest in a professional PR partner, mainly because they’re afraid to draw too much attention to themselves when they’re still brainstorming processes and nailing down their corporate image or company framework.
But believe us when we say that it’s all about documenting your journey, not the destination. In today’s digital age, potential customers, backers, and anyone else interested in getting involved with your company will expect to see digital proof of your company’s growth over time.
It’s another way to gain their trust and make it easy for them to enter into a lasting relationship with you. If you wait until your company is well-established in order to make your public debut, then you’ve already missed out on critical years worth of traction along the way.
And the hard truth is that once those missed opportunities are gone, they’re gone for good.
So don’t be afraid to tell your startup’s story, right here and right now! And when you do, make sure to say it loud and proud for the entire world to hear.