Thailand’s startup industry is growing rapidly. But one major challenge that many of these startups face is public relations. Startups typically don’t have the connections nor the manpower yet to reach out to the best media channels or to stir up good press. Don’t let a small budget or your little marketing team deter you from getting your PR efforts running.
The Thailand Startup Summit held at the Rembrandt Hotel on Wednesday, March 30 showcased just how many incredible startups are ready to make positive impacts on Thailand’s economy and tech industry. The right PR can help early-stage startups build user bases and assist in raising awareness or peaking interest from venture capitalists. Use the following tips to help generate press for your startup business.
1. Identify Target Media Outlets and Press
One thing you do NOT want to do is the ‘Spray and Pray’ – where you develop a pitch, send it out to a million different press channels and pray that someone bites. Startups don’t have enough time in the day for all that. Instead of pitching everyone, identify a handful of carefully selected media outlets that are considered your top choices. Take time to identify the specific journalists and writers that work for these target outlets and connect with them on social media channels.
2. Develop PR Bait
There’s a million innovative startups out there dying for the media’s attention and drooling over possible media coverage. Not every startup is going to get what they want, unfortunately. How are you going to stand out amongst the startup crowd? Do you have a plan? To increase the likelihood of you standing out, it’s a really great idea to develop clever, witty and well-thought out pieces of content to present with your pitch. Think of things like infographics or 15-second video clips. Learn to tell your story visually and get more attention than just using words on a paper. You need to identify how your startup can stand out amongst the other startups and the hundreds of pitches the media receive daily.
3. Create a Newsworthy Pitch
As mentioned in the previous tip, there’s thousands of startups pitching themselves to the media. What is it that makes a journalist or editor stop and consider one of them? A newsworthy angle. You need to make sure that your pitch is worthy of making headlines. Craft it in a way that highlights your startup’s unique selling points and also relates to the specific media outlet you are targeting. This might mean getting a little creative.
4. Utilize Social Media Outlets for Soft-Introductions
Startups tend to suffer from a lack of past networking. People who have been in the industry for long periods of time have had the chance to rub elbows with important people and make a name for themselves. If you want your startup to be featured in the media and recognized, it’s time to get to know the people in the industry. Virtually every journalist is using Twitter and many of them are using it as their main communication source. Be sure to follow them and comment on their posts. LinkedIn is also a great platform for virtual networking. Send genuine messages to people you’ve met or connected with. After a while, journalists and editors will start to recognize your name and next time it pops up while reading a pitch from your company, they may be more compelled to push it forward.
5. Avoid Sounding Like a Press Release
Listen closely, press releases are swiftly making their way into the History of Old PR Practices Museum – yes, I just made that establishment up but if it were real, the press release would surely be there. Ask yourself when was the last time you read a press release and said, “WOW! That was a riveting press release.” I’m going to make a crazy guess and say that your answer is “never”. Press releases are generally boring, text-heavy pieces of writing with some generic fluff mixed in. Make your pitch short and straight to the point. This wins every time.