Over the past two years, I have worked with a lot of start-ups looking to establish themselves and attract media and blogger coverage. After all, what better way to jump-start your business than quality coverage from high-profile newspapers and bloggers.
The problem is there are dozens, if not hundreds, of new start-ups looking to capture the spotlight each and every day. Even if you have created a better mousetrap, it doesn’t guarantee coverage. It can be a frustrating because there are start-ups with amazing technology and innovative services that fail to get even a sniff of attention.
The problem is there is too much digital noise and competition, which makes rising above the crowd challenging.
The start-ups that do get coverage in the New York Times and blogs such as TechCrunch are anomalies. For whatever reason, they have the right story at the right time, and it has little to do with the quality of their technology, service or the excellent pitches crafted by PR agencies.
So how does a start-up attract media and blogger coverage? The answer is simple: be successful.
It’s not enough to have an innovative product or service; what really matters is if you can attract enough users or customers to validate that what you are doing is interesting or, at least, newsworthy.
Only then will your story start to resonate with reporters and bloggers. It really boils down to what reporters and bloggers like: success or failure. If you’re wildly successful, that’s interesting. If you explode and make millions of dollars in venture capital disappear, that’s interesting. If you’re a start-up with an innovative service but few users, that’s not interesting or newsworthy.
Does this mean start-ups with few users give up on trying to get media and blogger coverage? Probably not. What it does suggest, however, is having realistic expectations about how much attention you will attract when there are few people using your product or service.
Rather than being disappointed when the world doesn’t beat a path to your door, a better approach is focusing on improving your product or service, and growing the business. Don’t worry about attracting attention from reporters or bloggers. If you’re business becomes a success, you can hit them again with a much more interesting story.
Bottom line: If you’re a start-up with no or few customers or users, getting media or blog coverage is a major challenge. It doesn’t mean what you’re doing isn’t interesting; it just means that it’s not newsworthy until more people endorse that what you’re doing is worthy writing about.