Every time I meet with a startup, I always as the founder(s) one key question: do you ever make pitches by engaging with journalists and bloggers who cover your market or the space you are disrupting? (hint: the later is usually a more interesting story).
Time to beat the drums and share your story with journalists and bloggers who should know about your startup! (Those are my Ludwigs that I’ve had for 42 years.)
The typcial response is either “we don’t have a budget for a PR firm…” or “we’re focused strictly on development and getting new customers through SEO.”
Here’s a simple goal you should reach for; one that if you apply on a dialy basis, you’ll suddenly find that after six months of applying a routine, you’ll find yourself opening up your company to the opportunity of being covered sooner than later.
Make it a point to reach out to 5 journalists or bloggers per week. Over a period of a month you’ll reach 20. Over the period of one year, you’ be at 240 touchpoints.
Now, given the reality of time, distractions and possibly not having the mindset that I do, even if you scaled back this initiative to slightly less than half, over the course of one year, you could easily reach a magical number of 100.
Not All Pitches Stick – Immediately
Even with a PR firm and even with a budget, not all pitches for startups (or for that matter any company) stick. This is part art, part science – and part luck. It’s your job as a founder to increase your chances of being lucky by doing some very basic outreach such as this:
“hi Joe, I am the founder of XYZ, the new software platform that helps its users xxxx. In studying your site, I see you cover the xxxx industry and would like to make you aware of who we are and what we’re up to. I hope you’ll keep us in mind as a possible story and source of informatoin on the xxx space. Thanks for reading and considering my pitch.”
The 5X Approach
Find, reach out to, and do this five times a way.
If you only do it three times a week, that’s ok. too.
The point of this process is that you want to have a discipline in place where you are reaching out, increasing your chances of getting covered, and yes, making you lucky.