According to a recent report, 9 out of 10 startups fail, with tech startups having the highest failure rate at 63%. One of the biggest drivers for failure is marketing problems, as cited by 22% of the companies surveyed.
One of the most effective marketing tools at your disposal is public relations, and the key to strong and effective public relations is a well-targeted media list.
In this article, ReBlonde will discuss why media coverage matters, why technology startups need public relations, and how to build a media list as the foundation of your public relations strategy.
The Importance of Media Coverage
A media list is a document that has details about specific journalists, bloggers, influencers, and writers that often talk about your niche or area of expertise. A good media list can help bring your company coverage from journalists and influencers, so you can gain some publicity and brand awareness. This allows your tech startup to increase leads and drive growth.
Media coverage and public relations can convert. Public relations can generate conversion rates of 10 to 50 times more than that of advertising.
This fact is driven home by other studies. Consumers prefer earned media (social media mentions, news coverage, reviews, etc.) over traditional ads.
Media coverage can help tech startups set their message to a wider audience and establish your company’s credibility. That is why companies often work with public relations agencies like ReBlonde.
How to Build a Media List
When starting a public relations campaign, one of the first things you’ll need is a media list. We’ll walk you through the steps to creating one:
Identify Your Audience
Ask yourself where your target audience can usually be found. What publications do they read? Which YouTube channels or podcasts do they frequent?
Conducting market research is an effective first step in identifying your audience. Understanding social media can help as well.
If your target audience consists of Millennials and Generation Z, for example, they might be on Instagram where 35% of users are 25 to 34 years old and 30% are 18 to 24.
Another way to find your audience is leveraging search engines like Google. Let’s say your company offers a platform for booking local event spaces. A possible target audience could be event organizers, local organizations who have yearly events, and others. List down possible search queries that your target audience might be using online. Examples are:
- Top event venues [Location]
- Concert halls [San Diego]
- List of Ballrooms in [Bay Area]
Using these search queries on Google can often show you results with top influencer blogs and publications that might cater to your target audience. These publications are a good place to start finding authors and influencers that you can add to the media list.
Identify and Research Relevant Journalists/Influencers
After successfully determining where your audience congregates, it is time to find and look into journalists you’ll need for your media list.
Go through articles from publications that are relevant to your tech startup, search through their content, and write down authors on the media list who have covered stories similar to yours. Find similar contributors within your niche and write them down as well. Their contact information is often listed in their author bio at the end of the article.
Conduct research and gather enough details to fill out your media list. These details include:
- the names
- the publication/s they’re working
- email addresses
- social media accounts
- links to their most recent work
Journalists are the largest and most active verified group on Twitter making up 24.6% of the authenticated users. You can try searching for the journalist or publication using the Twitter search bar. You can also search for the hashtags #journorequest or #PRrequest, or browse for hashtags relevant to your niche.
These hashtags are used when a journalist is trying to find someone for their story. This should help not only in finding your target journalists but a great way to connect with them as well.
Getting Media Coverage
Once you have a list of journalists and influencers, it’s time to pitch a story to them. Do this over email if possible. 93% of journalists prefer being pitched through email.
It’s a good idea to send your pitch using a personalized email with a short and compelling subject line. The pitch itself should be informative and concise with around 4 to 6 sentences.
A properly executed PR plan can put your business in a more positive light and earn the trust of your audience.
By creating and maintaining a media list as the basis of your PR plan, your tech startup is taking an important first step in raising brand awareness through your market. It can be a very effective edge your company needs in a very competitive market.
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