OpinionsExpressions by EntrepreneurContributors are theirs.
Funding rounds are crucial to company growth and product development, but they can also have tremendous benefits when it comes to exposure to potential customers, partners, investors and even employees. It should be a proverbial coverage “slam dunk,” but with rounds growing in size and funding levels setting records, it’s more important than ever to execute perfectly to give yourself the best chance of coverage — here’s how.
SetPut an embargo on your pitching and allow yourself enough time
InI recently spoke with a potential customer and asked when they were planning on announcing their funding. Their reply: yesterday. ManyCompanies want to hurry to get the word out. However, announcing too quickly could lead to missed opportunities. forA big media splash. Make sure an embargo time (a specific day, hour and time zone) is established forJournalists to be honoured The reason is that once the story is out, it loses value with time and reporters might not be able to cover it before it loses value. KeepKeep in mind that you will need to set the embargo for several days in order to do outreach. Only one outlet should be approached at once.
CompileThe best list possible before you start
ThisThe search begins the process for journalists that covered your company and competitors (preferably their funding rounds) in the past. NextYou can search for keywords such as “funding news” or keywords that relate to the industry you are in (ex. “raises” or “Series A”) to find more funding-specific news outlets and vertical publications that write at least the occasional funding story. WhileThis covers most potential journalists who would cover your round. Two outlets are still available. The first is local journalists, which, if you’re in EuropeThis includes outlets such as Tech.eu, Sifted Silicon Canals, or if you’re in the U.S., consists of regional tech-focused outlets such as BuiltIn. TheThe second is funding newsletters, and behind paywall outlets, such as WSJ Venture Pro Pitchbook.
Related: 7 Reasons WhySEO Matters for Every Startup
MakeYour pitches are important
ThreeYour release value is determined by the primary aspects
- TheThe amount of money raised
- The investors participating
- HowInteresting, unique and timely is the technology itself.
Make sure your strong points vis-a-vis these three aspects come across clearly in your subject line (many publishers consider this the most crucial part of your outreach) and the body of your pitch. Keep it succinct — 92% of journalists believe 2-3 paragraphs the ideal pitch length, and few will take the time to read a short novel. LastlyPay attention to pitch preferences. JournalistsDMs may be available over Twitter, absolutely hate to be called and have specific guidelines forThe pitch format you must follow for consideration. An excellent example of the latter is TechCrunch journalist Mike Butcher; You can read his pitch preferences here.
Related: I Raised $1.3 Million for My Startup FromA SingleLinkedIn Post
Don’t rely on traditional media alone
Social media is perhaps one of the most potent ways to magnify your funding round’s visibility. Having the CEO draft a long-form personal article on the announcement directly on LinkedInThe company can control the narrative and attracts a large audience. SharingSelect media coverage can be obtained from a company account. Team members can share and interact with the media within the first few minutes of posting. This can increase the reach of earned media. However, it can sometimes prove difficult to get employee participation. One solutionTo galvanize employees to make your round go viral is providing them with a fun, personal way to engage — SimilarWeb absolutely nailed this approach to promote their IPO by creating personalized employee images with a background detailing the announcement.
Related: Should You Pitch Your Startup to Early-Stage Investors?