One of the big dramas of PR is that it’s impossible to truly measure its impact. You will almost never know if an investor or customer reaches out to you because they read a headline about your company, or whether it came from some other form of outreach (ads, your sales team, etc).
So how do you make sure your first-ever media announcement goes well and maximizes your reach and visibility with all target audiences?
Your company’s coming out to the media can seem daunting when you have no experience dealing with journalists. It’s a baptism of fire indeed. There are a couple of things to think about when engaging with the media for the very first time:
First: before even reaching out to a journalist, are you media-ready?
Are you prepared to speak with the media? In other words, have you gone through media training before, or at least, do you have clear talking points ready? When preparing for a media launch you’ll want two sets of talking points: “circumstantial” talking points, which cover the news you are announcing, and “evergreen” talking points, which are your basic company-wide talking points, such as your vision, mission, differentiators, the issue you are fixing, etc.
Are you reaching out with newsworthy content?
When you are reaching out to a reporter or publication who has never heard of you, with an early-stage company (and zero media footprint), the best way to get the attention of a journalist is to reach out with some actual news, not to ask them out to coffee! FYI, it sounds absurd to have to remind people of this, but the definition of news is something that was not true yesterday and is true today. For example, London-based Company X announces today its expansion into Spain. The second criterion for news is relevance. For example, you might have redone your logo and website, but that’s not interesting to anyone but the company itself. Don’t try to pitch that to a tech reporter!
Is your press release compelling?
A press release is NOT a promotional product pitch or a sequence of company-centric messaging. A press release’s purpose is to share relevant raw news with media outlets. It’s a factual write-up of the news item that a company is announcing at a given point in time. At the same time it’s important to clearly communicate your story, purpose and USP. Not to tute our own horn as PR professionals but a good press release is not something you improvise. Drafting a press release takes a bit of know-how and experience. We do recommend hiring a content writer or media relations expert for this.