A cleverly crafted publicity campaign can provide third party validation that there is a market for, and interest in, your crowdfunding campaign. Furthermore, it shows investors that you are considered knowledgeable enough in your field to be used as a source for the media. Media coverage will also boost your Google rankings, increasing visibility to your company and crowdfunding offering.
Think about it this way: if you were an investor evaluating several companies to invest in, who would you choose—a virtually unknown company or one that has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Inc., local, or industry media?
Having spent most of my career working with start-ups, I know that the thought of executing a publicity campaign can be daunting. Even very accomplished people often feel that they have little to offer or that they are not enough of an expert.
That could be not further from the truth. Any business professional worth their weight (and if you are reading this post, we know you are) has value to add. The media are always looking for sources, especially when an event occurs within your industry. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Build your media list. Any good business leaders stays on top of industry news. They have numerous publications they read, blogs they subscribe to, and influencers they follow. These should be the first targets on your media list.
- Set news alerts for topics critical to your industry. Once you have identified a story, reach out to journalists on twitter or email and offer a unique prospective or data point on their story.
- Monitor Help A Reporter Out and the Twitter streams of journalists in your industry. Journalists are always looking for unique prospective or experts to offer insights.
- Report your milestones to local business journals and newspapers.
- Create a “one-liner” that reinforces your standing as an expert and your overall strategic goals. When interviewed, most reporters will include a line or two about you and your business, even if you are just giving them a data point.
- Promote the selling points of your business wherever you can. For example, crowdfunding is a very popular topic right now with the passage of the JOBS Act. If you are interviewed about using crowdfunding to launch your startup, make sure to discuss why you see a market for your product or service, always giving data points and discussing what makes you a credible source.
Every positive press mention you receive is one more link to add to the press section of your website and deal room. Quantity matters.
Once you receive positive press mentions, do everything you can to make them go viral by sharing your good news on your website, in your newsletter, and through social media. Not only will you have the opportunity to possibly get two or three stories out of one, but the outlet that published your story will also love you for helping them drive traffic to their site.
About Guest Blogger Joy Schoffler
Joy Schoffler is the Principal of Leverage PR, a publicity firm that works with growth stage businesses and thought leaders from throughout the nation. Joy and her team work with companies from a variety of industries ranging from technology to consumer products and real estate, performing a broad range of services from full service public relations and social media management to publicity training services for marketing staff and start-up leadership.
Joy’s background is a bit unique in that she used to raise capital for a living for early stage technology start-ups and institutional grade commercial real estate. One of the main ways she was able to help these firms experience tremendous success, including making the Inc. 500 list multiple times and raising over $20 million in capital, was through creative PR strategies. Joy found it was much easier to raise capital if the leadership of the firm were viewed as experts in their field.