Instagram. What started as an inane site where bored teenagers shared less than perfectly edited…
It’s no surprise that venture funding is one of the many hard-hit industries in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. With more layoffs occurring not only in newsrooms but within businesses that traditionally had little employee churn, it’s important to recognize what you can do to stand out and get your pitch noticed let alone answered to. Our free pitch template for funding announcements will show you the best way to craft your pitch and receive responses from journalists.
A few shorts weeks ago, Jason Pressman and Shasta Ventures posted this article on VentureBeat outlining what they envision will the “new normal” for startups and companies seeking to raise seed funding. Some of the takeaways include:
- Shifting to a mission-critical mindset
- Prove tangible value
- A drop in short-term venture activity
- Venture capital has passed its peak
The outlook for startups and smaller companies who are seeking funding may seem bleak but there is evidence that suggests the turnaround will be a good thing moving forward. This could mean fewer unicorns and far less funding rounds below $100 million, however, it presents an opportunity for companies to consider their position and strategy and begin to make changes to adjust for the future.
Whether a startup or company who is currently raising a seed round, or if you’re considering it, we want to shed light on how you should be pitching tech media professionals to secure hard-earned placements for your brand and clients.
As you begin crafting your pitch, ask yourself a few important questions, which are all vital pieces of information you NEED to include in your PR pitch:
- Who is raising the round?
- Who are the investors? Were they part of any previous rounds?
WHAT & WHY
- What is the company stage?
- What is the funding amount?
- What is the evaluation of the company?
- What does the company do? Why is the company unique?
- Who is on the team and why are they important to sustained growth?
- Why is this funding important and for what will it be used?
Now that you’ve asked yourself these questions, next comes time to draft your first message BEFORE you share it with any journalists. Here’s a 2017 article from Tiffany Spencer of Bessemer Venture Partners who identifies the key points to cover in a funding announcement. See below for a few other key elements you must include in your pitches related to funding, such as:
- From investing partners, or from the CEO or company representative. Have them share more about the reason for the funding and the future plans for the company based on the round secured.
- Make sure an image of your product, or the team, is included as an asset for journalists. Nearly every article includes an image and if you don’t have one then chances are a journalist will ask for it.
- Stick to the news you’re sharing; in this case a funding announcement. More than likely the journalist will want to speak further and the potential for an interview is almost guaranteed. With that being said, don’t throw in a number of other angles about the company, product, or service. Focus on the news you’re sharing since the journalist covering funding more than likely isn’t writing stories outside their beat.
Whether you’re pitching a funding round or another form of news to a journalist, it’s important to know what types of information journalists are looking for when you pitch them aside from who to pitch. This month, we’ve compiled a list of 5 Journalists to Follow on Twitter who cover funding announcements to make it even easier to target the right journalist for your news story.
The Coffee with a Journalist podcast includes a ton of feedback directly from journalists which you can easily search through on our blog. Here’s one of our recent blog transcripts with Natasha Mascarenhas from TechCrunch who covers early-stage startups and venture capital. Hint: search the page for “pitch” to uncover her personal preferences.
You can also practice on your own and reference the tips above by downloading a free copy of the pitch cheat sheet which includes specific details we’ve outlined above.