Fundraising News Is Not Enough: How To Score PR For Your Startup

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Is your startup preparing to announce a funding round? With more funds available today, journalists try to seep through the hype and focus on covering the financial rounds that really count. Here's how to make sure to score PR:

Not a quarter goes by without startups setting some kind of new funding record in terms of total amount raised, or the total number of investments made, and Europe is no exception. Startups have access to alternative funding routes such as ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) if they are unable to raise funds from a traditional venture capital firm, which further inflates the number of startups claiming they are getting funded. In fact, last August the total amount raised from ICOs since the beginning of 2017 surpassed early stage funding.

As a result, the media is showing signs of a fundraising fatigue, and reporters are getting pickier and pickier when it comes to what funding announcements they cover. Only three or four years ago, raising a seed round or Series A round was a massive stamp of credibility for any startup, making them stand out from the competition. With more funds available today, that’s no longer the case. It’s only fair that journalists try to seep through the hype, and focus on covering the financial rounds that really count.

So how do you cut through the noise and score some good coverage for your fundraising announcement? Here are 5 essential things to make sure you include in your press release and press pitch beside the funding news itself.

#1 The Trend You Fit In

Think of your fundraise announcement as a news hook, and an opportunity to tell the broader story of your startup. It’s crucial to set your story into the greater context or trend. For example, if you are building a mobile app to help individuals manage their finances, think about how your product fits in the broader trend of innovation in the personal finance space. Make sure that in approaching the media, you are able to answer the following questions: What is the size of the market you are addressing? How fast is this market growing, and what numbers/recent research is available to prove this? Who are your competitors, digital and traditional?

#2 The Amount Raised

On any given day, your story is competing with many other companies who are also trying to get coverage. Reporters prefer to cover a fundraising announcement which includes a known Euro amount if they have the choice between two startups. If for some reason you aren’t prepared to share the amount raised, push for your investors to at least share a reasonable investment range.

#3 Investors’ Profile

With more and more business angels and new venture firms opening up every month, your investors’ profiles and track record is another way to stand out. If your backers are high profile, make sure you highlight this information in your funding communications. What notable investments have your investors made in the past? Are they local to the market that you are announcing in? If not, have they made any famous investments in that market?

#4 Growth Strategy & Numbers

Numbers are your best opportunity to show the momentum and growth behind your startup. Also be ready to share some forward-looking information about how you plan to use the funds, and use that as an opportunity to build your growth narrative. Give out some quantifiable goals and estimate timelines to reach those objectives. How many users do you have, by what percentage is that number growing month on month or year on year growth? Will you use the funds for recruiting? Roll out to new markets? Develop more features of your product? Basically, what are the best numbers to show scale?

#5 Product Proof Of Concept

Since securing funding is more and more common, it’s paramount for a startup to build a story around its product and make a compelling use case for it. What problem are you fixing? What is the size of the market you are addressing? Who is your super user? Do you have any user/customer testimonials you can share?

If your story includes all of the above you are in a good position to maximize the chances of securing the coverage you want.



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