Sometimes a round of PR can help startups achieve targets quickly and effectively. Whether the goal is to appeal to customers, investors or potential employees, you never know who will end up reading that article or watching that video posted on a major publication or tweeted by an influencer.
However, startup PR can be expensive if you choose to hire an agency.
This past week, the Fash&Tech community gathered to learn startup PR tips from famous journalists. Roza Sinaysky and Roy Latke talked about the best ways to gain press coverage for an emerging startup without spending your budget on an expensive PR firm.
Roza is a famous instagram and fashion blogger, as well as a journalist who reports for Elle Russia, Buro 24/7 and more. Roy Latke is the managing editor of the popular website, Geektime. As someone who is interested in both fashion and business, the opportunity to receive advice from two professionals about how to make it in the fashion technology industry was invaluable.
The knowledge and skills I took away from the panel discussion are not only applicable to startups in the fashion and technology industry, but are useful for anyone looking to start a new business or develop relationships with the press. Just in case you missed the event, I wanted to share my biggest take-aways. Here are Roza and Roy’s six best startup PR tips to help you gain publicity for your fashiontech startup:
Stand out from the crowd
Both Roza and Roy emphasized the importance of standing out. Journalists and social media stars are constantly being bombarded with mail and messages from startups and companies looking for publicity. The best way to get their attention is to offer them something new. Whether that comes in the form of a unique new product or an interesting presentation, Roza and Roy both told us they are always on the lookout for a “new vision.”
Want to stand out from the crowed? Offer something new.
Have a clear, straightforward presentation
Roza said it best when she told the audience that “having a good idea/product is not always enough. You need to package it the right way” Both journalists agreed: a bad pitch or presentation can kill an otherwise amazing and innovative product. The two professionals advised the audience to craft a straightforward and clean presentation consisting of a few sentences, a link, and a picture.
Invest in Visuals
Continuing their previous point, Roza and Roy stressed the importance of a good visual. They told the audience to create something eye-catching that you can attach to a product description. For example: a short film clip, a photograph, or a graphic. Roy told the audience: “I remember visual cues. If you are different, I will remember you.”
Personalize your outreach
The only piece of advice the two journalists did not fully agree on was how startups should reach out to the media. For Roy, a managing director at a famous online publication, he prefers to be contacted through mail — keeping his personal and professional online profiles separate. For Roza, an instagrammer and blogger, she says the best way to reach her is through a direct message on instagram. It is clear from the two different answers that the preferred outreach method varies from person-to-person. Make sure to pay attention to what type of professional you are reaching out to and adjust your technique accordingly. Sometimes journalists will post the best way to reach them on their accounts, so be on the lookout for whether the person you are trying to reach is more responsive on twitter, instagram, mail, etc.
Work on forming personal relationships
One of the biggest tips Roy offered the group was to work on forming personal relationships with people in the press. That way, when you find yourself reaching out to the media concerning publicity for your product, you already have one foot in the door and reporters will be more inclined to work with you and help you promote your product.
Do your research
Arguably the biggest tip of the day: do your research before you reach out. Know the person you are reaching out to, the company they work for, and the type of audience they have. Make sure your product’s mission aligns with the mission of the person you are reaching out to. Roza talked about one of the worst experiences she had with a startup company reaching out to her and asking for publicity. It was obvious the startup had no idea what kind of blogging she does, and she knew her audience would have no interest in using their product. Roza used this story to help teach the CEOs in the room, closing the panel discussion with the wise words: “you can only make a first impression once.”
Overall, the event was a huge success and the attendees were provided with the information they need to develop relationships with the press and gain publicity for their startups. Many thanks to Roza Sinaysky and Roy Latke for answering our questions and allowing us insight into the world of journalists and startup PR.