I’ve been attending school in the heart of Silicon Valley for the past year. At a certain point in most relationships I’ve formed at school, there comes a time when I get “the pitch”: my counterpart gives me the lowdown on the venture he/she plans to start, “probably in the next year, because lots of investors are showing interest”. Though I’m an equally bright-eyed, bushy-tailed nineteen-year-old, I can tell you it typically doesn’t work like that in the real world. Startup success comes down to three factors: having a good idea, knowing your own weaknesses (so you can surround yourself with people better than you), and willingness to hustle.
As most entrepreneurs know, oftentimes you’re running a one-man show. Every aspect of your fledgling business falls on your shoulders. This means engineering, prototyping, finances, pitching, and of course, marketing and PR. To help you get off on the right foot, we’ve pulled together these 3 tips to bring the buzz to your startup.
- Know your audience and where you’re most likely to find them.
- Does your startup align with a national trend or bring high impact? Reach out to national media. Is your story region-specific with a local hook? Target regional outlets. Is your startup indicative of an industry trend or an industry disruptor? Try trade publications. If you are targeting a broader audience than those working in a single industry, consider evaluating various consumer publications.
- Do your research to find the specific reporter who covers your industry.
- Cross-check your contacts with colleagues who might have a pre-existing relationship with a certain reporter. Check reporters’ social media pages for their self-descriptions, retweets, and recent articles. Scroll through their last 10 headlines to get a feel for their interests, and use their media outlets to find contact information.
- Tailor your pitch.
- Make sure you explain the Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why. Always spell out impact to a media outlet’s specific audience, and highlight timeliness. Customize your pitch to each different outlet’s audience and each reporter’s interests and try to highlight their specific recent articles.
About Sarah Richard
Sarah is an intern at Trevelino/Keller. She will be a sophomore at Stanford University in the fall, planning to major in Psychology and minor in Economics. In her free time this summer, you’ll find her catching up with hometown friends in Atlanta.