For startups the question of when to start engaging with the media is pivotal to achieving success. The following may help you assess when your startup is media ready.
Many founders fall into the trap of thinking that their big idea is the story, often it isn’t,
but how you got the idea or how you’re solving a problem might be.
Reporters are looking for the new – a story they haven’t covered before, a new approach, a new solution, a fresh opinion.
Generally, your startup is ready to start engaging in PR, when you tick a few of these boxes:
- You’ve got paying customers and the number is growing fast.
- You’ve got happy customers willing to be mentioned in stories or feature in stories about how you’re helping their business grow.
- You’re solving a problem/providing a solution that is topical and in demand.
- You’ve got an elevator statement, a clear narrative and key messages.
- Your founder/spokesperson has time to speak to journalists (sometimes at last minute notice).
- Your founder/spokesperson has been media trained/coached and is comfortable articulating how you’re different.
- You have investors or are about to announce a decent sized funding raise.
- You have signed some key industry partnerships.
- You’re in hiring mode to expand your team and understand your team are brand ambassadors.
- You have plans for expansion in Australia or internationally
- You’ve got advice/assistance from a PR expert to help you set realistic expectations and help package up stories and pitches for the best results.
Now that you know what you need to get right first, you can plan the best time to start engaging with the media.