Media doesn’t care about your (very important) press release/news. 5 reasons why.
Almost every startup has enough passion about their company to feel like it’s one of the greatest innovations on the market and sometimes. When the company is your life, we’ve found that sometimes it’s hard for clients to see outside that cloud. Its great for investor meetings and raising money, but when it comes to dealing with media and getting your startup covered in the news, a little bit of reality starts to sink in. Here are five reasons why the media isn’t covering your news and how to get them to notice.
- Your news isn’t newsworthy – One very simple answer can be that your news isn’t really news at all. I have people that want to announce things like new offices or websites, those aren’t very exciting or valid pieces of news for media. One factor that many startups don’t assess, is if the media is going to benefit from covering this news. Everyone has a job to do and publishing information that is new is the job of the media. Make sure that you’re saying something worth noting, something that is moving an industry needle or creating a trend. It doesn’t alway need to be a new product, but it does have to be of interest of more people than just you and your company. Take a look at what’s happening in your industry (which you probably are for your investor decks) and use that as a stepping stool to build your news angle.
- You haven’t clearly explained why your news matters – While you may have a new development that impacts the industry in a big way, it may not be obvious. I find that many startups are under a cloak of too much exposure to their own information and sometimes aren’t clearly communicating why their story matters in the larger scheme of things. A rule of thumb (depending on your target audience) we follow is to explain it so your parents can understand it and move up from there.
- You haven’t targeted the right media person – A very annoying aspect of the media job is getting pitches that aren’t relevant to their area of coverage. Just because someone works at TechCrunch or Wall Street Journal, doesn’t mean that they are the right person that will cover your news or even that they will look at it. Research is a huge part of the PR and even in PR, there are folks that don’t do it right. Make sure you do your research on which reporters are covering your type of news, so that it is relevant to the person you are reaching out to. This could be the difference between your email/press release being read or being deleted.
- Timeliness of your news – Good timing can play a huge factor in the placement of your news. Unfortunately, you are not the center of the universe. Industry events, travel, APPLE product launches…can all affect the impact of your news. Make sure you are aware of key events that are going on in your industry when you are reaching out to reporters to cover your press release. Being flexible can make or break your news. Plan ahead of your desired date and start vetting the media early. If you’re finding that there are conflicts, be flexible and adjust. You will get a better bang for your effort!
- Your marketing sheets are disguised as PR – Last but not least, your press release may look like a company marketing one-sheet. What’s wrong with that? Press releases should serve more as a fact sheet and reference rather than a promotional piece. Despite what some may think, public relations and marketing are two different vehicles to reach similar (but not same) goals. Make sure that your press release is more factual than flowery. Pull in industry facts and information and if you are able to include third party validation, that will make your news that much stronger.
All in all, its important to see the media as more than just a vessel to get out your news. Its a two way relationship. Providing them everything they need to understand who, what what is critical first because they get 100’s of emails a day and second because you want them to get the story right. If you want the most out of your press release or news put your news up front, reach out early and research the right targets!