Start-Up PR – Four Tips for Getting Media Coverage

Stage HookWhen you’re a start-up, PR can be a difference for the company. The challenge is how to get targeted, quality media coverage on a limited budget and competing objectives. One of my favorite sayings lately is “by hook or crook.” What I mean is what can I do in the short-term to satisfy immediate results while keeping the eye on long-term value.

Here are some ways that start-ups can get some quick and dirty media coverage:

1) Editorial Calendars: Magazines will publish an editorial calendar to highlight areas of coverage for the coming weeks or months. Though the purpose is to garner advertising dollars, this will give you an opportunity to determine if there are appropriate stories. Contact the editorial assistant to determine process for contacting reporters and if the story has been assigned. 2) Executive Profiles: Consider pitching profiles of your CEO or founder to local newspapers, business journals or bloggers who focus on entrepreneurship. This provides a good opportunity to highlight your thought leadership within in your industry as well as vision for the company.

3) New Hire Placements: Local newspapers and journals include information about new executives at local companies. Each publication will have different criteria for submitting this information and may take several weeks for it to appear. I recommend submitting a photo as this will likely will get published with the brief.

4) Hold a Crazy Stunt: There is a balance between a stunt for marketing purposes and one that ties back into your overall objectives. I recently read about this stunt in the local newspaper. Briefly, this company was giving out tomatoes with money on it. Why? The name of the company is Frankly, I think this was poorly thought out and didn’t help promote the company’s end product… video-sharing site… yeah. Though it garnered coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle, I don’t know what else it accomplished. Dead pool anyone? =)

What are you PR tips for start-ups?

7 thoughts on “Start-Up PR – Four Tips for Getting Media Coverage

  • January 28, 2010 at 07:38

    first off, i have to say this is a great blog.. keep it up :)

    thanks for the tips… i guess i should be re-thinking of my strategies this year.. i am very much contented with how my website works. Prova made sure that my site would gather a huge audience to get my services exposed.. i am sure when i get to actualize the tips you gave above, i am in for more business.. thanks again…

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  • October 27, 2009 at 10:23

    The crazy stunt reminds me of poorly crafted viral videos and advertising campaigns. The message might be fun, crazy, controversial, or whatever… but in the end no one remembers the company or the product because the message is not relevant.

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  • February 28, 2008 at 20:50

    Chris, I definitely agree with you, but I feel that ties to a longer term strategy. I was trying to highlight some “quick and dirty” methods for getting coverage.

  • February 25, 2008 at 02:52

    Good post, and good tips for securing coverage. I do b2b and b2g, so the big stunt isn’t often right. But, I’d add to your list a solid understanding of the industry niche your client is in, and how to “hook” into larger issues or trends.

    Example — in 2005 I had a client who did online surveillance and brand protection. They had done a project for the FDA on how many sites offering prescription drugs were fraudulent — not surprisingly, the vast majority. The study had been done months before we were hired. By leveraging the political issue of whether people should be able to get prescription drugs online, we were able to secure big time coverage of the online research.

    Adding you to favorites, see you around!

    Chris Parente


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