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Media For Startups: Understanding media relations

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Media For Startups: Understanding media relations

Media For Start-ups: (Understanding Media Relations)

Having made the bold move of launching a start-up business, it is likely that you are faced with the challenge of spreading the word about your products or services to potential customers. Most start-ups look enviously at the big brands, wishing they could emulate their marketing activities. Of course, they are never able to do so due to an acute lack of funds to invest in marketing, especially in the early stages.



The goal of media relations is to get positive coverage in the mass media without paying for it directly as by advertising. Media relations involves working with media for the purpose of informing your potential customers about how your offering will benefit them, and doing so in a credible positive and consistent manner. Typically, this means coordinating directly with the people who influence, generate and distribute news and features in the mass media.



One of the most cost-effective ways to build buzz around your start-up is to get it covered by the media, either local or national. But how does one go about doing that on a shoe-string budget?

Media For Start-ups: (Understanding Media Relations)

Having made the bold move of launching a start-up business, it is likely that you are faced with the challenge of spreading the word about your products or services to potential customers. Most start-ups look enviously at the big brands, wishing they could emulate their marketing activities. Of course, they are never able to do so due to an acute lack of funds to invest in marketing, especially in the early stages.



The goal of media relations is to get positive coverage in the mass media without paying for it directly as by advertising. Media relations involves working with media for the purpose of informing your potential customers about how your offering will benefit them, and doing so in a credible positive and consistent manner. Typically, this means coordinating directly with the people who influence, generate and distribute news and features in the mass media.



One of the most cost-effective ways to build buzz around your start-up is to get it covered by the media, either local or national. But how does one go about doing that on a shoe-string budget?

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Media For Startups: Understanding media relations

  1. 1. Media For Start-Ups: Understanding Media Relations N Bringi Dev June 01, 2013
  2. 2. Session Objectives  To introduce you to  The media relations milieu  How the news reporting process works  Types of media interactions  Frugal media relations strategies
  3. 3. What is Public Relations? Public relations vs. media relations How is it different from Advertising? Advertorial vs. Editorial
  4. 4. Types of Public Relations  Offline  Online  Social Source: Alok Kejriwal
  5. 5. Does Offline PR Still Matter?  There is a market of decision makers (CEOs of Companies, Heads of Departments, Senior Govt. Officials, etc) who only read print.  The online websites of large publications have large audiences and once you are written up in print, you automatically get featured online too.  Think of it as ‘proof of concept’ test. The day you can make it in the Fortune or Time or The Economist, you have done something worthwhile. Source: Alok Kejriwal
  6. 6. What can Media Publicity Do for You?  Build awareness  Potential Employees  Investors and Banks  Possible Partners  The public at large  Build Brand and Value  Generate Business?
  7. 7. Caveat: There are No Free Lunches!  While media relations appears to be ‘free’, there are costs involved:  Financial costs  Media Kits, travel, etc.  Outside resources..  Non-financial  Time!  Work!  Consistent Focus!
  8. 8. THE MEDIA MILIEU
  9. 9. The Media Milieu • Time is always short • Media channels compete • E-relationships • Low attention span • Technology massively propagates pictures, videos and ephemera
  10. 10. The News is a Product • The news is a product which media companies sell, and people have attached a value to it with paid subscriptions a tangible measure.
  11. 11. What media wants Conflict of Interest? What ‘sources’ want
  12. 12. The Bottom Line  The relationship between source and media is symbiotic  There are skews  Publications decide what their readers want/get  Online media is only slightly better  Sources need to understand this relationship and how to leverage it
  13. 13. Messaging Model - Old Messages Target Audience
  14. 14. Messaging Model - Now Messages Influencer/ Opinion Leader Target Audience
  15. 15. Opinion Leaders  Opinion leaders serve as a powerful conduit in the flow of information  Opinion leaders may have more direct access to the media and/or a better media literacy than the masses  They have credibility with individuals that the mass media may lack  Political figures  Celebrities  Community or religious leaders  Teachers  Media analysts  Industrialists/Investors  Journalists
  16. 16. BEHIND THE NEWS
  17. 17. Behind the Scenes
  18. 18. Who Decides?  Editors commission stories/columns  Journalists/writers file  The Editors decide  Sub-Editors hack the story  Priorities change all the time
  19. 19. Journalist Roles 20 journalist has a personal role personal approach is allowed for the journalist journalist must be objective newsroom work only commentary, note, columns, opinion news, news feature story reporting interview
  20. 20. Channels and challenges Print daily Internet Mobile TV Update Keep your news always up-to-date Write your story for next morning Be faster than your competitors Time Mind the deadline to deliver the daily by breakfast reading 15 min / newspaper 1-2 hours/day Inconvenient: estimated 3 min per session 6 sec/shot, 30 sec / news Space Text and visuals must fit the page Page size, layout Scrolling Bandwith, resolution scrolling schedule Competition The next issue must also be sold Maintain readers’ loyalty aggregators, news stolen Content services of mobile operators Channel surfing 21
  21. 21. Types of media interactions  Press or media releases  Media conferences  Media briefings/Junkets  One-on-one meetings  F2F  Telephonic or video  Questionnaire-based: written or e-mail  Television interviews  Round tables, debates & conferences
  22. 22. Interaction Model Spokesperson PR Agency Readers Wire/News Services Spokesperson Spokesperson In-house MarComm Journalists Editors Analysts Web Sites Other Stakeholders Editors Investors Readers
  23. 23. MEDIA RELATIONS FOR START-UPS
  24. 24. Fundamentals  Know thy TA!  Whom are you talking to?  How do I reach them?  What do they read?  Know thy messages!!  Find the right publications that can help you reach your TAs
  25. 25. Getting Past the Gatekeeper  What will excite the media?  Read all the papers, magazines and web sites you would like to be covered in  Read the way people are quoted in your industry – what do they say, how do they contribute to stories, what do they stand for?  Develop your pitch  Prepare multiple versions for different TAs  Spell out the benefits/implications to readers
  26. 26. Connecting  Who are the journalists that write in your area?  What kind of stories do they write?  Comment on their stories online – responsibly yet provocatively  Get their email addresses:  Write to them, but do not spam them  Find out who their commissioning manager/editor is  Give them reasons to want to know you
  27. 27. Connecting -2  Network, network, network: haunt the places journalists will see you  Attend conferences and seminars  Become a speaker or panelist as often as you can  Attend entrepreneurship group meetings  Participate in incubator activities  Register with and participate in the ecosystem players  Microsoft, Intel, NSRCEL, whoever…
  28. 28. Connecting Online  Develop serious blogs  Have a trenchant point of view  Comment on relevant issues  Develop a Personality
  29. 29. Be Prepared  Develop a pitch for the media  Focus on highlighting the aspects of your offering that they think will be useful to their readers  Have a media page on your site  Your pitch is a ‘living document’  Develop a media kit: online + offline
  30. 30. Some Bright (?) Ideas  Is there a media-savvy person in your founding team? Why Not?  No Idea? Get Idea  Can you find a media relations person cheap?  One-person outfits exist - call themselves consultants – select one who comes recommended by someone you trust  The Moonlighter Option
  31. 31. More Bright Ideas  MR Now – Pay Later  Find a PR agency that will provide consulting now for a slice of the business or later  Work on a pay for results basis  Fledging agencies may be willing to work for costs  Get your investors to help you connect  They have a vested interest  Most times we do not ask them..
  32. 32. Stay the Course  Like all relationships, building media relations takes time  Be prepared for the long haul –it is worth it!  Most importantly – the leadership team needs to invest time and effort to make it work.
  33. 33. Discussion

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