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Tips on how to best leverage launch events

We are launching next week at the Launch Festival, and we are hoping to attract some media and investor interests. But there are 40 other startups launching at the same time, so it is not a guarantee that we will be top of the pact. I wonder if anybody has participated in Launch Festival or other launch events (e.g., TechCrunch Disrupt or incubators' demo days), and can share some tips on how to maximize the exposure?

We received a list of reporters who are participating. So we are planning to hit a small group of them with a personalized email pitch, along with a PR announcement, as soon as we go on stage to present (that is when our media embargo ends). But other than that, we do not quite have a plan.

Should we actively seek out these reporters at the conference? I do not want to appear too pushy or desperate. If we offer their readers freebies, would it increase our chance of getting coverage? Does it still make sense to send a PR announcement to PRWeb? Any other tips you could all share?

Many thanks for your insights.

7 Replies

Rick Nguyen
3
0
Rick Nguyen Entrepreneur • Advisor
Cofounder @ Spot Trender
Hey Huan, after getting my startup on Business insider, Yahoo Finance, and Advertising Age, I know a little bit about getting press. My 2-cent:

Why would bloggers write about you? Page views! Create a story that their audience would share and send it to them, giving them the right to publish 'as is".

Steps to come up with interesting stories:
-Look at what people are writing about on blogs, TV, news paper. Etc. For instance, right now folks are talking about Facebook's acquisition of Whatsapp. Professionals call this "Strategic context"

-Brainstorm how your startup relates to the strat context. For instance, if you plan to charge users $1/year, IT's LIKE WHAT'S APP.

-Write a complete article. The article shouldn't just about your startup, but your space or tech etc. Briefly mention your startup in a positive light. Make sure the subject is something that engages people emotionally (like anger, or love). People tend to share and talk about stuff that makes them angry. -->PAGE VIEW for blogger.

-Send the article to your press contact. give them full right to publish, edits etc. Many bloggers have to push out 3 articles a day, so anything ready to push would be greatly appreciated.

Here's an example: let's say your startup Whatnot charges people $1/year for Whatever. Write an article like this:

"How Whatsapp changes the way web companies make money"
-Intro: blah blah about advertising vs $1/year
example 1: something else
Example 2: your startup. a quote from founder (YOU)
Example 3: blah blah
Conclusion: What's your startup? What do you think? etc (request viewer comment)

Hope this helps.
Huan Liu
0
0
Huan Liu Entrepreneur
Co-founder at Vimo Labs Inc.
Rich,

That is a great tip! I am just learning how to do PR, this sounds very logical to me.

Would you recommend this approach with TechCrunch? They seem to have their own editorial calendar.

Also, when you mention "press contact", do you mean a specific reporter or blogger? Did you have to spend time building a relationship with them first?

Thanks again.
Rick Nguyen
0
0
Rick Nguyen Entrepreneur • Advisor
Cofounder @ Spot Trender
This approach would work with most publications. The more prestigious it is, the more well researched your article has to be.

Nothing builds relationship faster than a well researched article they can publish. They will love you.

Cheers,
-Rick
Jake Carlson
0
0
Jake Carlson Entrepreneur • Advisor
Software Development Manager at Oracle
The company I work for (MicroVentures) is a sponsor at Launch Festival this year and am lead developer for the mobile site and funding pledge scoreboards you'll see there. I hope to see your company at the top of the list!

But sorry, no advice on PR, unfortunately. ;(
Rand Strauss
0
0
Rand Strauss Entrepreneur
Transforming politics and government, Visionary at PeopleCount.org
You don't need to wait for the launch event to contact reporters. Determine those that will be at the launch event that you think will be interested in your product. Contact them and tell them you are announcing your exciting product at the event and would love to talk to them there. It's best to do this over the phone. Make appointments for you, the CEO, to talk with them at the event. If you can give them a bit of information, a teaser, the space, etc, all the better. Especially, tell them why they'd be interested in you. If you can really say nothing about your product, tell them what articles they've written, or perhaps limits to existing products they've lamented that lead you to believe they'll be interested in your product.

Huan Liu
0
0
Huan Liu Entrepreneur
Co-founder at Vimo Labs Inc.
@Jake, I need tips on how to rank high on the pledge scoreboard too :-)

@Rand, we are banned from pre-briefing reporters. But thanks for the tips on researching about them. We are definitely planning a customized pitch right after we get on stage for people who might be interested in our product.
Jake Carlson
0
0
Jake Carlson Entrepreneur • Advisor
Software Development Manager at Oracle
@Huan It's all audience voting so I can't help you there!
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