How do you get journalists to cover your Startup Story?

24 replies
The biggest challenge for founders is generating awareness for your product without spending ridiculous amounts of cash on advertising. I get several emails a week from various publications (mostly unknown) asking to publish your story for 2,000 USD, but that's not what I'm looking for. πŸ™‚ I've seen many answers to the above question, but I'm looking for what's worked well for most people. How do you engage with "mainstreamish" journalists that will share your story without having to pay for the privilege? Thanks for any suggestions


Nik Hazell
Interestin question, @oluadedeji. We found a number of our competitors sniffing around and signing up on our site, which I think proves that the "industry" is interested in what's going on. However, I haven't managed to turn that into an actual article by a real journalist!
Good question @oluadedeji, I upvoted this thread as I would also love to hear what other people feel regarding this. You're correct that the publications that charge you for writing about your story are usually a waste of money. From what I've been told, PR is like most other things, a question of who you know and what you can offer. If what you're doing is extraordinary or newsworthy in and of itself, getting people to write about it is obviously easier than if you're doing a B2b SaaS. Like the old saying goes, dog bites man --> not newsworthy but man bites dog --> newsworthy.
@avidnote Hahaha definitely "man bites dog" gets my attention :) There are also PR Agencies the challenge is finding the good ones. You're right there has to be a compelling story over and above your product...essentially your personal story (Your Why). How did you arrive here...If that story is compelling enough then it evokes the right emotions..
πŸ‘‹ Hey @nik_hazell @avidnote , I just wrote a whole response but appears to have just been deleted - anywho :) Take 2 There are a few playbooks on this, I just wanted to reach out to everyone else to see if there are "shorter-cuts" .Awareness generation can be "hacked" ... I'll keep you posted BTW - @nik_hazell your profile background pic is πŸ”₯
Nik Hazell
@avidnote @oluadedeji ha - thanks for persevering with the response. Anything that can "Hack" awareness generation would be incredibly interesting to me. And thanks! The picture is a few years old now, but it's good isn't it! πŸ˜„πŸ“ΈπŸš£πŸ»β€β™€οΈ
Anupama Panchal
It can be done through a PR agency.
Hey @anupamapanchal it certainly can :) I was looking for something "off the beaten track" as it were... :) there are a few playbooks to get this done. I was looking to find out if founders have found a super hack/ using something different
Dagobert Renouf
I saw be recommended. Haven't tried it but plan to.
Hey @dagorenouf thanks for this I'll check this out..there's another platform I saw a few days ago, I'll share once I manage to pull it out of my slack "notes"
Noah Lenz
I know this isn't exactly what you are looking for, but thought I may as well throw it out there since your looking for a free/low cost option. Help a Report Out is a great site where journalists often find sources & people to interview regarding a story. If something is within your area of expertise, you'd be included in their article. Although it'd likely only be a few paragraphs within the article itself, you'd be credited, and they'd likely briefly mention you're startup as well.
@noah_lenz awesome ! I appreciate this..I'll be checking them out too. And it's an interesting angle. So not completely off-piste
Inna Proshkina
From my experience decent reporters that create high quality articles never ask to get paid. We managed to get our product covered in top tech media like ZDNet without a single dollar spent. Of course it greately depends on the product itself - it should be πŸ’₯ newsworthy. Researching on who writes what, finding reporters' contacts, writing custom pitches ✍️, nurturing relationships β™₯ take some time, but this highly individualized approach brings results.
@inna_proshkina this is very true. Thank you for this.πŸ”₯ having spent the last 2 days speaking to "PR Gurus" your response definitely resonates with me. Know anyone looking to join an early stage Startup as a CMO (co-founder status) 😊
Sofia Polonska
Guestposting mails! ) always
Anton Ross
The best solution is crowd marketing. To be published for free, you should be known about you!
Alexander Moen
you know, I've had some big media coverage in the past, and the only good that came from it was to be able to use their logo and tell people I was on it. In terms of sales, I always got next to nothing. I get more traction on a single LinkedIn post these days. But, it's still in the minds of some people that you must be successful when you make the news. When I did it in the past, I had already launched the startup, and I came at an angle from something new and interesting and just reached out to a ton of people. If you can speak to specific stories that those specific reporters do, you'll have better odds. But, I'm telling you, the ROI of what you get after how many hours is required, is bad. You just have to really, really want those logos (in which case hiring some PR newsblast company for a couple hundred is probably a better bet).
πŸ‘‹ Hey @alexander_moen this is gold! thank you. I've spent the last week or so speaking to a number of PR people. They seem to focus more on creating the founder as a thought-leader and look to share your experience or story on Forbes and Business Insider, which isn't what I'm looking for either....and they're not cheap at all. Also whilst Forbes and BI are good logos to have, my target audience are hardly reading these journals. However, your insight in terms of the ROI is really helpful here. Sharing your personal story and it's alignment to your Startup is more in line with what I've seen work well..(not necessarily converting to sales) but more interms of building credibility and generating awareness. do you have an example of such PR News Blast companies ?
Alexander Moen
@oluadedeji glad it was helpful for you. I've used in the past with decent results. They get whatever press release out there for $99 and give you a report so that you can cross-reference what places actually posted your press release.
Roman Melnyk
we have a local Telegram chat - try to find communities named "PR" or something in your region. It is more useful direct contact and it will be free or cheaper