How Startups Should Engage the Media
Startup founders often struggle when it comes to engaging journalists. They are unable to craft compelling stories about their companies, and when they have breaking news to share, they inadequately capture the announcement’s relevance and why the media would want it covered.
Entrée Capital’s Spotlight Event, a series that helps startup founders grow their companies, covered this very topic at its most recent event. Avi Eyal, co-Founder and Managing Partner at Entrée Capital, Koby Benmeleh, Bureau Chief of Bloomberg LP in the Middle East, Gali Weinreb, Healthcare and Science Correspondent at Globes, and Yaneev Avital, Editor-in-Chief of Geektime discussed how to pitch the media successfully and what mistakes founders should avoid.
CRAFTING A PITCH
When it comes to crafting a pitch, Gali Weinreb stresses that journalists want to share a good story explaining that “When you can tell a story at a dinner table and catch everybody’s attention, then that is when you have your winning pitch.” How a startup ultimately crafts the story will depend on the goal of the media exposure. This will also dictate which media outlet the startup targets.
“The pitch should be different for each publication as each journalist focuses on a different aspect of your story. Know what you want to achieve and then choose the journalist and publication that can help you achieve that goal.”
It’s important to “talk of the company’s technology on a global scale. Every story should be about your company but it is also about a much broader trend, which is very interesting to readers.
Reports fact check… maybe not every time, but certainly a reporter will get to the facts. So always tell the truth, don’t embellish, and certainly don’t lie as you will lose your standing forever.
Not every story is a story. And every story should be regarded as an episode in your startup’s life. You are trying to build a brand, occupy the mind in a certain space/vertical, and continuity is key. So relationships matter.
As Andy Warhol once said, “In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.” The trick, is of course, to be relevant for longer.
THE THREE KEY THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Reporters fact check. Maybe not every article, but eventually you will be caught out.
- Simplify the story and stay focused. Don’t create long PR full of jargon. If you can’t write the entire story in three sentences, don’t bother.
- Relationships are key. Provide a steady stream of relevant and interesting information. Then you’ll be on a journalists’ mind, becoming the thought leader and go to person in the segment your startup operates in.