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Get Your Startup Covered by Any Blog (virool.com)
81 points by adebelov on Oct 10, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments

I'm sorry, but this is really basic stuff, and I doubt it will help any startup founder who has done even ten minutes of research on the topic of PR. Founders without famous backers or extensive networks should look at more advanced marketing and communication techniques, and try to create or participate in a movement that resonates with the press, through a marketing story and through a compelling answer to the question "Why is this done". In getting press and customer interest, I strongly feel that answering why should come before answering how or what. This is why great pitches != great products. Also, it's a very hard process, and lots of PR agencies are surprisingly bad at this. This is one of the reasons why a business co-founder is so important for a startup.

@VSerge, this wasn't meant to be a comprehensive list of advanced strategies. I just threw some quick thoughts, posted on company's blog and posted it on HackerNews with hopes of starting a discussion about ways people got PR. I guess it wasn't apparent in the post, but I would love to hear more tips from the community about things that worked/ didn't work for them.

With all due respect, those are good points, but it looks like you got your PR coverage mainly because you're a YC-backed company. Am I wrong?

P.S. - the links to the press coverages are all broken.

@sixQuarks there was a mention in TechCrunch that happened as a result of YC experience. The rest of the press: PandoDaily, VentureBeat, ReelMarketer, etc., happened because of a mix of things: pure hustle (applying the rules I outlined), and positioning our company as a thought leader in the space.

Thank you for pointing out the links.

#0 Build something worthy of coverage.

I agree in theory, but worth is subjective.

Actually, it's not that subjective. Fundamentally you need to understand the blogger's job, which is not what you think it is. Their job, like it or not, is to contribute to page views. This could come due to sensationalist headlines, exclusives, "breaking" news, consistently high quality reporting, in depth analysis, etc. In some places, it's many of the above (eg TechCrunch), in others, it could be a very specific niche.

Now that you understand the blogger's job, you should be able to understand if your pitch is "worthy" to THEM. If it's not, DON'T pitch it, period.

The above might sound simplistic, but after running a marketing firm for four years, I can't tell you how often this advice is unknown, overlooked, or worse, ignored. Your news is "worthy" if it helps a blogger do their job, if not, it's just plain not worthy.

No matter how much you are proud of your accomplishment, if it's not interesting to the readership of an outlet, it's not interesting to the blogger, and that's that.

Well now you're talking about the worth of the story, which is different from the worth of what was built, is it not?

An amazing pitch is not an amazing product, and vice versa. Yes a great story is going to get eaten up by bloggers. But that doesn't apply to rule #0 above.

well, the topic is about getting your startup covered, not whether or not your startup is building something worthy.

i guess it comes down to this: quality of worth as it pertains to impact in the real world does not directly correlate with quality of worth as it pertains to the value it has as a news story.

i maintain, however, that if your goal is coverage, then by definition "worth" is only relevant to the ability for it to be covered at all.

I'd love more coverage of my startup, Improvely, but I don't think I'm going to be throwing any parties on the other side of the country to attract the tech press. Personal e-mails to bloggers that covered similar companies didn't go anywhere either, so my 'launch' consisted of posting to my personal networks on FB/LinkedIn/Twitter/Yammer.

I would think snooping around their profiles for phone numbers and cold calling would be seen as creepy. Is that really something people do to bloggers/journalists they don't already know?

As a former journalist, there is one simple way to press: get introductions.

If you don't know people who know journalists, meet them.

A strong network is essential to the success of any startup.

One thing to always remember: reporters are people too, so treat them as such. Too many entrepreneurs hurt themselves by treating reporters simply as a means to an end.

As someone who has found himself working on the seedy underbelly of PR (mostly joking), this is something so many pitches fail to achieve.

TechCruch's Jordan Cook wrote a great article about dealing with email as a reporter -- http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/05/i-hate-email/

Good post. Item number 6. Build Relationships. Tim Ferriss wrote a blog post about how to build relationships with important people. It might complement it. Just check it out: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/12/10/how-to-get-g...

Many thanks for writing this. I enjoyed reading it. Maybe that are basics, for social media guys. But for tech Start-Up guys this blog post is very use full.

Solid tips.

Tip #7 - Be persistent. You might fail a lot doing this, but keep trying. You'll find your magic formula one day.

Yes! Persistence is key. These days, everyone is too busy. If you really feel that talking about your startup would be an excellent fit for the blog, keep pestering them...in a good way.

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