Starting PR campaign for your startup is a big day. It should be! You have earned this day by carefully planning your business model, seeking out the news-worthiness in your startup, getting introduced to the journalist, etc. Good job!
But be careful, your FIRST next 30 minutes of interaction with journalists should also be planned well in advance. Having worked with startups for last 4 years, we recommend following check points to be taken care of.
1. Clear positioning of your startup
Do practise the response to raison d’être for your startup. Also, what it will not do! Don’t get swayed by journalist question to tell everything that your startup will do in next 5, 10, 15 or 20 years – be practical and avoid clichés. You may, however, think of yourself in 7 to 8 words to ensure the journalist gets your business model in a jiffy. For example, we want to be Flipkart for Green products or we want to be Rovio in India. Sample this headline –
2. Consumer stories
Human beings love story-telling. That is how our minds are conditioned from childhood. Consumers also love stories. Try and put such emotional, heart-felt story in front of the journalists. But do this – very contextually!
3. Have facts to back your claims
You should have facts that you are going to recite in front of the journalist. How big is your industry? If you are starting or creating a new industry, be clear with what your assumptions for calculations are. Chances are good that journalist will publish in the story and investors will see it too. You should sound thorough with what you said – it always ensures trust in the startup too!
Something for which you probably did the PR campaign. Right?
4. Ensure clear responsibilities for leadership
Most startups with more than 1 founder fall in the – “I-want-to-answer-this” syndrome. Don’t do that – have clear cut defined boundaries between yourselves. Who will talk about HR, business, Future, Brand, etc – Meddling founders in front of journalist is not a good sight at all!
5. Practice before you talk and know what you talk
Journalists in startup industry are very smart – Do practise what you are going to say in front of journalists. When in doubt, ensure you do this with someone who can give you correct advise. This is something we at Boring Brands take pride in. We want our companies to be clear and trained. We end up asking tough questions to ensure founders are well rehearsed.
6. Research the journalist or the stories she does
Every startup is different. And so is every journalist. Some like pink and some like yellow. Some like to go in depth and look for numbers while others look at trend that the startup aims to ride. You give number based interview to a lifestyle journalist or you give “We do agressive transactions” to The Economic Times and you would do know you did harakiri there. Always do a basic research on the journalist you are meeting. read a few stories to get the drift.
Do these 6 basic things for sure. You have worked hard to be there in front of journalist. Let the next 30 minutes be a great experience for you and the journalist.
And yes – you will have great coverage too 🙂
Wondering how to approach a journalist? Our DIY tips might help!
Photo – gettyimages