Press Coverage

5 Reasons Your Startup Isn't Getting the PR You Need

Understanding and working with the requirements of journalists covering your industry will go a long way toward increasing your company's visibility.
5 Reasons Your Startup Isn't Getting the PR You Need
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Guest Writer
Entrepreneur, Growth Hacker and Marketer
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Getting press coverage for your startup has become increasingly difficult. With an average of 550,000 new businesses starting each month, you’re facing some serious competition to gain traction with your audience. If you don’t take the right approach to PR, you’ll see your competition pass you by.

Exposure doesn’t happen by chance. Behind every great brand story you see in the media, there is a great PR strategy.

Related: 6 Common Mistakes of DIY Public Relations

Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes that prevent startups from getting the press coverage they desire.

1. Not taking blogging seriously.

Blogging on a regular basis is one of the best ways to impact mainstream discourse. A growing number of journalists and reporters are constantly looking for new and interesting story ideas in the blogosphere. You can make your blog a fresh source of news stories by writing about your story and your industry, and by commenting on different aspects of your business.

To get the right press coverage by blogging, ask yourself why your company exists and what problem your product or service solves. Present your story as human and relatable and make sure it is compelling enough to grab the attention of the media.

2. Not networking with relevant journalists.

Networking allows you to build a quality relationship with relevant journalists whom you might not have encountered otherwise.

To get quality press coverage, you need to focus on networking with journalists who cover your niche, and to learn what they write about and what their audience likes to share. Once you have built a connection, you can pitch them the story of your business.

But before you jump in, keep in mind that journalists hear pitches all the time. If you’re sending generic pitches that focus on only yourself, most likely they’ll ignore your proposal. To make your pitch stand out, tailor your story to fit with their beat.

3. Not making your story exclusive to each journalist.

Exclusivity is a strong enticement for a news outlet. Not only will it make them more invested in the story, but it will also entice them to get the jump on their competitors.

Related: 5 Strategies for Getting Press for Your Small Business

Assuming you have exclusive-worthy news, the next thing you must decide is what outlet to offer it to so that it has the best chance of reaching your target audience. The goal is to not always reach the broadest audience but to get your news in front of existing and potential customers.

4. Not using the right tools.

To build and maintain a great PR presence, you need to use the right tools; ones that help you amplify and monitor your business’s public appeal. Some of them are:

  • Help a Reporter Out: HARO is one of the easiest free tools when it comes to pitching the media. It lets you gain access to daily emails from journalists seeking interviews.

  • Google Keyword Planner: This free tool helps you plan out your blog posts with relevant keywords that people are searching for. Careful word selection will help your blog show up higher in search engines returns. 

  • BlogAbout Title Generator: My favorite free tool to help me brainstorm catchy titles for reporters. 

  • Google Alerts: This is a free tool that sends you alerts when your company or competitor is being featured in various media outlets. 

5. Not being authentic.

Reporters are consistently getting pitched stories from entrepreneurs that want press. To make your pitch stand out, be authentic. The reporters covering news in your industry want to hear your story. Keep in mind that they need you as much as you need them, and they are actively looking to build relationships with entrepreneurs. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. To get your story covered, you need to find the right reporter and the right publication at the right time and to be authentic.

Related: Being 'Authentic' Doesn't Mean You Have to Stay Small

No matter how good your product is, it may fail if it doesn’t make its way into the public eye. To get the right press coverage, you need to build a strong network of journalists and bloggers writing about your industry.  

When you send a pitch, ensure that it stands out and tailor it to fit it with the reporter's beat. From this list of errors, you can avoid the mistakes preventing you from getting the PR you desire. Fix it and you can increase the visibility of your startup.

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