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Planning press for launch

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Hi all,

Does anyone have any suggestions/resources for the best way to plan a public "coming out of stealth" launch? I've recently heard that there are some rules within the community -- e.g., Tech Crunch won't cover you if the Globe does first. I'm sure there are many others I'm unaware of. Also wondering how other companies like AngelList also play into this -- better to announce fundraising there before or after you've garnered some press? Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much,
Christina

5 Replies

Joel Magalnick
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Joel Magalnick Entrepreneur
Storyteller. Innovator. Leader.
I came across this article on Quora a few weeks back. Hope it helps!
http://www.quora.com/Social-Media/What-are-some-tips-for-getting-your-startup-featured-on-TechCrunch-Mashable-and-other-tech-blogs

Caleb Garling
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Caleb Garling Entrepreneur
Writer
(Disclosure: I'm in the tech press) I've always questioned the conventional wisdom that TechCrunch (or any tech blog) is where to launch. It's always seemed more like a badge of honor than a savvy strategic decision. The announcements get washed away with all the other noise in tech. My advice is to find the publications your prospective customers -- not fellow entrepreneurs --- are reading and target those.
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1
X
Entrepreneur
Joel -- what an awesome resource - thanks! I'm interested in #11: *Give your company/product TIME to have a story built around it.* I'm of the mindset that as soon as you start talking to journalists about your product, it's fair game for them to publish, whether you're ready or not. Thoughts on this? Caleb - this is really useful and makes a lot of sense. Thanks!
Paul Travis
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Paul Travis Entrepreneur
Multifaceted Online Executor: Product Marketing to Program Mgmt. to Business Development
Christina, the reference Joel provided is great on your first topic.

On the second topic (though you may not have intended it as such) my years in startupland paying for legal advice suggest to me to be careful what you say publicly about raising money. If you're selling equity AND using Rule 504/505/506 to avoid being treated as a public stock offering, pay for 20 minutes of coaching from your attorney on what you can say where -- rather than risk losing the exemption later.
Michael Barnathan
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Michael Barnathan Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co-Founder of The Mountaintop Program, Google Alum
The ban on publicizing fundraising was recently relaxed:

http://startupweekend.org/2013/07/19/sec-lifts-public-advertising-ban-with-less-complexity-around-fundraising-will-entrepreneurs-focus-on-other-hurdles/
Michael Brill
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Michael Brill Entrepreneur
Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products
Kind of an obvious point, but make you know what your primary goal is... if it's to provide social proof to aid in fundraising, then a single TechCrunch story is much more valuable than a broader effort across multiple channels. It's likely your story will be lost the next day under the unending stream of great startup announcements. But that TechCrunch logo lives on in your deck.

OTOH, if you are far along with the product and are getting sufficient user engagement that you just need a larger base to work off of, then maximizing coverage makes sense. Then you're raising money on user momentum... much better than coverage by a tech blog. But if you don't have product/market fit nailed, then whatever boost you get initially will quickly dissipate.
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Entrepreneur
Much is dependent upon your startup market - if you are going after a hot market, for instance, we became part of the crowd - knew what they were looking for - and pressed through funding in more 'stealth' mode. Austin can't keep a secret, and so when we were funded, it was posted in the press. We expected it, accepted the hooray and went semi-stealth a second time - but continued to engage with the online community - and a short list of users through beta. We announced BIG in partnership with a global player after that - with 100% confidence. We knew our partner couldn't have egg on their face, and so our decisions reflected that.
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