Are Startups Addicted to Press Releases?

— May 18, 2018

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Did you just close a funding round? Did you make a key new hire, who’s going to propel your company as you scale? Did you just land a household name as a customer?

If any of these are the case, you’ve likely already written up a press release. You’re probably putting on the finishing touches as you read this, and you’re gearing up to take on the world via this press release announcing this fantastic news. You might also have slightly unreasonable expectations as far as what media will pick up the news. There might be better ways to announce your news that will reach more folks. (That’s the goal, right?)

I can appreciate the urge to write and distribute a press release whenever you have news. You’re proud of your startup’s accomplishment, and you want to share it. But first consider this: Wouldn’t it be a shame if it didn’t get picked up anywhere and ended up in the graveyard of press releases that never see the light of print or digital coverage?

All is not lost if you don’t announce your news in a press release. Consider other distribution methods, such as:

  1. Email newsletter or announcement: Your sales funnel probably includes a gathering of email addresses of customers and potential leads. Consider sharing the news directly with them. An added bonus to this distribution method is it can be written directly by you – a chance to connect with your customers in an authentic way.
  2. Social media: Have you considered announcing your news on your social media channels? LinkedIn is a great place to start. Speaking of social media, are you following the right influencers to build your brand? Announcing your news is only half the battle – you have to reach the right people for it to have legs. Have you considered a Facebook Live announcement? If you decide to announce your news via social media, make sure you pick the channel that has the biggest reach.
  3. Your company blog: Your company doesn’t have a blog? Why not? It’s something you can do even if you don’t have a big budget with which to work. Of course, you’ll want to distribute your blog posts on your social media channels, so keep that in mind when devising your social strategy for the announcement.
  4. Blog-swapping with a customer: If you’re a B2B company, consider taking the above-referenced blog to a customer to see if they’ll post it on their site. Of course, the appropriate thing to do would be to offer to host a blog of theirs on your site, as well, which extends your reach, so it’s a win-win for both parties.

If you’ve gone through this post and still think a press release is the way to go (say, you’ve just closed a seven-digit funding round), keep these tips in mind when crafting the press release. Though, if it is a major funding round you’re announcing, you’ll need more than just a press release.


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