PR for Startups: The 10 Step Process I Use to Get Press (2018 Update)

I recently listened to a great webinar from the guys at Digital Third Coast which quoted a great book Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive, and Others Die[9] where they break down how to do PR for startups with the following questions:

I like to adopt the one sentence pitch to the reporter I’m pitching, in other words not just:

“We’re the fastest & easiest way to deliver anything to any location.”

but  instead:

“You’ve tweeted about this before, sound familiar? Crap, you really need this package delivered by tomorrow, but you’re stuck at work, and there’s no way you’ll make it to the post office in time. Enter X.”

See how this story flows like water, and it’s so easy to imagine yourself in this situation?

A great story sticks in someone’s memory much longer than generic explanations of what you do. The longer you can stay sloshing around in a journalist’s brain, the better the chance they will remember you when they plan to write a story about a related topic. Master storytelling and doing PR for startups will come naturally to you.

2. Create a Contact List of Relevant Journalists

In this step, you have to find reporters whose main beats include what your product/app/service does.

What space is your company in?

Use the following formula:

(descriptor) + (noun)

Noun: Think about the main action your service/product facilitates or performs. Is it sharing? Is it delivery? Or is it coworking?
Descriptor: What is its one main distinguishing feature.


Product: car sharing app
Space: peer sharing

Product: travel concierge service
Space: personalized travel

You should know the space you are in so we won’t spend too much time discussing how to identify that. Go ahead and type in the space your company is in into Google and toggle to the News tab.

Why Google News[10] tab? Because the people who recently wrote stories about your industry/space are most likely interested in what you do. Alternatively, you can type in the name of one of your competitors.

Google News will show you the most recent articles written on your topic. For example, since my topic is “PR for startups” I would type that into Google News and here is what I get:

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