More PR tips for startups

Here are some more PR tips for startups:

  • Be out there. Reporters often get story ideas or thoughts for sources by doing Google searches or looking through blogs. If you have a strong presence elsewhere, it increased the odds that a reporter will contact you.
  • Follow up. If you’ve engaged with a reporter, be sure to offer help along the way. When I was in New Orleans recently, I wanted to do a piece on how cell networks deal with large surges in demand. Verizon loaned me several devices. After I had a day to play with them, Verizon’s PR team checked in to make sure the devices were working.
  • Details matter. Verizon PR knew that I was going to be testing the devices at Jazz Fest. They pre-loaded the Jazz Fest app on both devices. That was a thoughtful touch that I definitely noticed.
  • Don’t email links to the exclusive you just gave a competitor. That’s a pretty surefire way to ensure you won’t get coverage.
  • Pay attention to what’s going on in other news. If Facebook updates their S-1 on the day you had planned to talk about your product, you might want to re-consider your launch. It may not seem fair, but that’s life. Chances are that your story won’t see the light of day.
  • Pay attention to reporters’ schedules. If there are specific reporters you are targeting, follow them on Twitter. I’ll tweet out when I’m traveling or on vacation. Those are generally not the best times to reach out.
  • Pay attention to reporters’ own quirks. Many people tweet out their pet peeves about PR people or what they look for in stories. Be on the lookout for those.

About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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