From the Editor: There are many individuals and groups that wish to startup a tech corporation. If you are a reader of capchips you will see who is undertaking an effort to be a start up. This is very difficult to do successfully and for that reasons you may see articles in capchips to offer advice to startups. PMB
The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Generating PR for Your Startup
Now, authenticity is valued much higher than meaningless social stats or outdated press releases, especially during an era when media coverage is focused on the ongoing pandemic.
But fear not! You might be surprised at how easy it can be to avoid PR mistakes, and make the moves that will get your startup in the news for all the right reasons.
This is a tough one for many startup founders. You’re going to change the world, and you want everyone to know! But remember that your company is still evolving, and content lives online forever. Soundbites that sound charmingly enthusiastic in the moment — ”We’re the Uber of astrology!” or “In one year everyone on Earth will have our smart clock!” for instance — can become embarrassing clips that could haunt your career if you fail to deliver.
Instead, hone your company’s message in a way that leaves room for growth. Even if your product or message evolves, positioning yourself as an innovator or thought leader in a space will allow you to talk about the future of that industry in a way that won’t become embarrassing quotes later on.
Don’t send a PR blast to hundreds of journalists.
With a few exceptions, press release blasts are a thing of the past.
“If I get a press release, it’s already old,” said Connie Guglielmo, editor-in-chief of CNET. “I’m not interested because it’s already been out and I don’t really care. We want to break news. That is part of what the media does. You should put a blog post on your website announcing whatever news, but the days of [press releases] are very long past.”
Instead, develop organic and earned relationships with a few select reporters, micro-influencers, or local bloggers that cover topics exactly related to what your startup is trying to do.
Follow them on social channels, engage with their work in a natural way, and offer to meet (whether virtually, via phone, or in person) to talk about your company before making an ask. You might even offer them exclusive coverage, or the chance to shadow you, allowing their eventual story to be filled with the kind of color and character that gets talked about and shared.
Additionally, pay attention to the details, says Lara Sorokanich, editor at Fast Company.
“Don’t spell people’s names wrong. Whenever I get a L-A-U-R-A, it’s just a little sloppy and [spelling it right] can help you to not get put in the delete box immediately,” she said.
Don’t think everything is news.
Six-month anniversaries or mid-level hires might be great milestones for your startup, but they’re not newsworthy. And it’s great if your company is woman-led or sustainable, but that alone isn’t a story, either.
“Think about what your story is,” said Guglielmo. “‘What is the headline on the story you want the reporter to write? What is it that makes you different?’”
Maybe you’re a David taking on a Goliath. Maybe you’re in a legacy, set-in-its-ways industry that doesn’t get much coverage, but you found new tech that upends the way that business gets done. Maybe you got into the space after a personal tragedy. Those stories are the guts of your company, and they’re the kinds of human connections that reporters and audiences want to see.
Don’t forget about the free resources.
There are plenty of free ways to generate PR for your startup (and they’re not just crossing your fingers for a viral clip). Check out tools like HARO or SourceBottle, which can help connect you with reporters working on stories connected to your startup; Canva, which can help you create professional-looking, shareable graphics; and even simple Google Alerts or a free trial of Mention to figure out who’s talking about you.
Don’t go overboard on social.
Too many startups think they need a presence on every social platform, but then don’t take the time to develop nuanced content and engaged followers for each account. That sends the wrong message. A Facebook page with two posts and 35 followers spins a far sadder tale than no Facebook presence at all, and a Twitter account where you try to post about a viral Instagram meme just shows you don’t ‘get’ social.
Social is only successful if you’re super organic and authentic on it.
Choose one or two social platforms that best fit your company, like Tik Tok if you’re a startup selling a product to Gen Z, a LinkedIn premium page where you can write in-depth blog posts for a niche tech crowd, or Medium as it’s a free and easy way to get up and running with your own content or by contributing to other Medium articles. Tailor your communications so they’re sharable on your chosen platform, take time to curate your feed, and engage with micro-influencers in the space to carefully build the organic social presence that will pay off in the long run.
To learn more about building a startup on Amazon Web Services: https://aws.amazon.com/startups/