In the startup world, standing out from the crowd isn't just a goal—it's a necessity. Journalists can get 30, 50 or even 100 media pitches a day. So how do you stand out? Let's say you're with a tech startup wanting media coverage. How do you do that, exactly? Here are some PR tactics that work for tech startups.
PR Tactic 1. Don't try to sell your product. Tell them a story about your innovative edge
Don’t be boring. But especially, don’t bore the reporter with endless product features. Nobody cares that your app just got updated from version 2.3 to 2.4.
So what do you do? Recently, we did PR for a tech client who wanted reporters to write about its large language model training capabilities. It trained LLMs (think fancy chatbots like ChatGPT) on CPUs (central processing units) rather than the more costly GPUs (graphics processing units).
Instead of just focusing on the tech features, we built the pitch around the cash value of the tech solution. We had hard numbers showing how even a small startup using this tech could save thousands of dollars a month in cloud computing costs. Numbers, especially odd numbers, catch attention.
That one pitch landed 3 media hits alone. Boom! That’s a good day for a PR campaign.
PR Tactic 2. Personalize your pitch with details that show the reporter you did your research (on them, not just their reporting)
Tech startup PR often involves reaching out to reporters who cover specific beats or industries. But what if you tried something completely different? Like…mentioning their dog, for example.
Pet owners, well, they LOVE their pets. And more often than not, their Twitter (X) profile will mention a pet’s name. So, start off by asking them how Benji is doing. (We did that.)
Not only does this show that you've taken the time to research a journalist’s interests, but it also gives them a refreshing opportunity to talk about their dog. Or cat. Or even their favourite baking recipe.
Of course, eventually, you'll loop back to your tech startup. But the personal touch you've added makes the reporter more likely to engage with your pitch. (And yes, Benji's owner ended up writing a story about our cybersecurity tech client).
PR Tactic 3. Following up? Don’t nag. Provide value
Reporters are busy, and they get hundreds of emails every day. That means you can just pitch them and ditch them.
Now, let’s talk about the art of the follow-up. Don’t just send a short reminder saying, “Hey, did you read my pitch?” Instead, get their attention with new information to make your story even more current.
Add a quote with a spicy hot take. Give them an updated number that just came in this week on how they added another half a million users. Send them a video that shows the CEO making a bold statement on stage at CES in front of 1,000 people. Don’t just clobber them with the same thing. Innovate.
Is your tech startup ready for media attention in unconventional ways? Contact Mind Meld PR and let’s get started.