Eight ways to get press for your Brighton Startup
Digital PR expert Corinne Card shares her top tips on how to gain press coverage for Startups.
When my friend and former colleague Hanna Cooper asked me how she could get press for her vegan style startup Voodism, I gave her some tips which I thought could be helpful for lots of Brighton-based companies.
Whether your business is vegan, vegetarian, health food or just one of Brighton's cool, new startups, take a look at the eight simple tips I gave to Hanna, below, which can all be tailored to whatever it is your brilliant Brighton startup offers.
1. Get a photoshoot
Are you the owner of the company? If so, get high quality, high resolution photos of yourself which help tell the story of what your company does. Business journalists like photos which have energy and fun - it might seem contradictory in that business is seen as a bit dry but they need to brighten up the pages they fill - especially when it comes to the nationals.
2. Write a snappy ‘expert’ intro
Build a brilliant, one-sentence opener for any interactions with journalists which shows you ARE the expert. Eg: ‘Hanna Cooper is [job title] of award-winning vegan style business [company name as you wish it to be published], which has clients including [big name, big name and big name].’
3. Prepare a launch press release
Create a launch press release and send it out to relevant publications along with the best photo of yourself. Take time preparing this and preparing your press lists. A launch is your first real chance at press and can lead to good things. List out vegan sites but also small biz sites which might be interested, more general food and drink publications, and tweak the release for each group of sites.
4. Mine the #Journorequest hashtag, constantly
Journalists often share their requests on Twitter, using the hashtag: #Journorequest. If you don’t have time to check every single #journorequest, set up a TweetDeck column for #journorequest along with the word 'vegan', 'veganism', perhaps 'vegetarian' and related terms so you can jump on any journalist requests on relevant topics straight away.
5. Create a forward features calendar
Build a plan for the year based on vegan events that you can prepare for in terms of PR campaigns, then think of inventive ways you can provide something useful to the press and bloggers and influencers immediately before those dates that they can use for content, weaving your company in naturally at the same time. Use your own experience, expertise and resources from within your company, to make this content both useful for the reader and low cost to you.
6. Sign up for a Response Source trial
Response Source offers high quality journalist requests from top titles, at a price, but a free trial upon launch is a no-brainer. Do a trial with the food and drink category of Response Source to see if anything relevant comes up. Ideally, coincide this trial with a point when you have something useful to contribute - perhaps during a vegan awareness week or a major food event journalists are likely to be writing about. This way, the trial week alone can provide you with some good press.
7. Create a Journolink profile
Create a profile page on Journolink - a good resource for small businesses where you can become a case study for journalists looking for experts in your industry. You’ll also receive some journalist requests and be able to send out press releases on a budget.
8. Sign up for free journalist request updates
I can’t emphasize this enough: with journalists receiving upwards of 1,000 press releases daily, responding to their requests for information is a far better way to get noticed than simply sending out information cold. Sign up to free journalist request services to see which provide relevant opportunities for your business. Top free options in the UK include HARO and SourceBottle.
For expert advice and concrete tools to gain press attention for your own business, sign up for ‘How to Make Your Company Famous’. The event is hosted by Guardian Business journalist Jon Card and BrightonSEO speaker and digital PR expert Corinne Card. Limited spaces are available here
Thanks to Corinne at Full Story Media for writing this blog