Public relations · Launch Festival

Planning press for launch

Anonymous

August 2nd, 2013

Hi all, 

Does anyone have any suggestions/resources for the best way to plan a public "coming out of stealth" launch? I've recently heard that there are some rules within the community -- e.g., Tech Crunch won't cover you if the Globe does first. I'm sure there are many others I'm unaware of. Also wondering how other companies like AngelList also play into this -- better to announce fundraising there before or after you've garnered some press? Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks so much,
Christina
A great idea is 1% of the work. Execution is the other 99%. In this course, we’ll teach you how to conduct market analysis, create an MVP and pivot (if needed), launch your business, survey customers, iterate your product/service based on feedback, and gain traction quickly.

Caleb Garling Writer

August 2nd, 2013

(Disclosure: I'm in the tech press) I've always questioned the conventional wisdom that TechCrunch (or any tech blog) is where to launch. It's always seemed more like a badge of honor than a savvy strategic decision. The announcements get washed away with all the other noise in tech. My advice is to find the publications your prospective customers -- not fellow entrepreneurs --- are reading and target those. 

Joel Magalnick Storyteller. Innovator. Leader.

August 2nd, 2013

I came across this article on Quora a few weeks back. Hope it helps!
http://www.quora.com/Social-Media/What-are-some-tips-for-getting-your-startup-featured-on-TechCrunch-Mashable-and-other-tech-blogs

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

August 2nd, 2013

Kind of an obvious point, but make you know what your primary goal is... if it's to provide social proof to aid in fundraising, then a single TechCrunch story is much more valuable than a broader effort across multiple channels. It's likely your story will be lost the next day under the unending stream of great startup announcements. But that TechCrunch logo lives on in your deck.

OTOH, if you are far along with the product and are getting sufficient user engagement that you just need a larger base to work off of, then maximizing coverage makes sense. Then you're raising money on user momentum... much better than coverage by a tech blog. But if you don't have product/market fit nailed, then whatever boost you get initially will quickly dissipate. 

Paul Travis Multifaceted Online Executor: Product Marketing to Program Mgmt. to Business Development

August 2nd, 2013

Christina, the reference Joel provided is great on your first topic.  

On the second topic (though you may not have intended it as such) my years in startupland paying for legal advice suggest to me to be careful what you say publicly about raising money.  If you're selling equity AND using Rule 504/505/506 to avoid being treated as a public stock offering, pay for 20 minutes of coaching from your attorney on what you can say where -- rather than risk losing the exemption later.

Michael Barnathan

August 2nd, 2013

The ban on publicizing fundraising was recently relaxed:

http://startupweekend.org/2013/07/19/sec-lifts-public-advertising-ban-with-less-complexity-around-fundraising-will-entrepreneurs-focus-on-other-hurdles/

Anonymous

August 4th, 2013

Much is dependent upon your startup market - if you are going after a hot market, for instance, we became part of the crowd - knew what they were looking for - and pressed through funding in more 'stealth' mode.  Austin can't keep a secret, and so when we were funded, it was posted in the press.  We expected it, accepted the hooray and went semi-stealth a second time - but continued to engage with the online community - and a short list of users through beta.  We announced BIG in partnership with a global player after that - with 100% confidence.  We knew our partner couldn't have egg on their face, and so our decisions reflected that.