Previous Employment: Strategic Human Capital Advisor for 9 years at Deloitte Consulting, Apple, Levi, Cisco, Salesforce, and others.
There are several ways to get your startup in the press. If you have a budget allocated to product placement and PR, then hiring a well-reviewed PR firm is the most efficient way to build a business. Make sure they have existing relationships with the news and press outlets that your startup needs access to.
Once you sign with a PR firm, you will need to develop a solid PR contract which holds them accountable to certain deliverables, especially if you’re paying them on a monthly retainer basis, versus per project basis.
If you’re funding is limited, then sign up with a good PR company for 3 months and ride that initial wave with them. At the 3 month mark, if you’ve been paying attention, you will have garnered some new press relationships and experience pitching your story. You can then start to push your own PR by: reaching out to relevant and new press outlets; networking within your circle; and attending events where you might find larger congregations of media-type people.
If you’re struggling for funds, like the majority of startups, then you can definitely own PR in-house! Develop a strategy around reaching out to news and press outlets. The most important piece here is to develop a compelling story.
This will enable you to provide a consistent pitch to anyone and everyone you talk to – both causally and ‘down to business’.
Remember: If you’re going to own PR in-house then you will need to be able to pick up the phone and cold call news and press outlets and pitch your story to them. You can also pitch while hiding behind an email alias, but if you really want to get someone’s attention, then you just need to pick up the phone and call.