If you’re on the verge of completing a funding round, congratulations! We know from our friends at the Foundry Group, Rockies Venture Club and elsewhere that funding rounds can be big news. So why not bring some extra bounce to this announcement by using these proven ways to generate press, and make your stakeholders and investors happy at the same time?
Funding rounds make for compelling stories — which are especially welcome right now. With the market looking for signs of vitality and continued investor confidence, we are sensing a prolonged but more nuanced window of opportunity for media coverage of funding rounds. This coverage can then be integrated into customer or stakeholder outreach, provide golden content for digital marketing campaigns and juice SEO. Our top six tips are below.
Don’t Get Caught Sleeping. “This company could not be reached for comment on the funding round” is not how anyone should want their company to appear online. Being prepared can make the difference between great coverage … or a huge missed opportunity. To best do this, make sure to fully finalize your press release before filing a Form D notice so it’s at the ready if you get the call.
What to Include. There are lots of good examples of funding announcements online, and we prefer to keep it simple. Include the company’s name and brief description, company URL, amount raised and lead investors. And don’t forget a quotation from your CEO or founder (we love using the quote to share the why and market positioning). It’s good business to include a quote from one of the lead investors too. Precision is key, so make sure that anyone quoted in the press release has fully signed off.
Set Your Expectations. Top-tier publications like the Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg typically won’t cover funding rounds smaller than eight digits. Conversely, automated EDGAR reports into newsrooms can trigger coverage on funding rounds as low as $75,000. If your funding round is somewhere in between, there are a number of business and B2B outlets that may be interested in covering your announcement.
What’s Your Pitch? Are you just another company in a crowded category, or are you bringing innovation to the market? Be sure to define where you sit in the marketplace too. As with investors, successful media pitches are tailored to the desired PR buzz. For example, private equity- and venture capital-oriented publications like PEHub or Private Equity News require basic facts about the deal, while category-specific trade publications provide greater coverage on why the funding matters. Finally, be sure to include that your company is “based in” the community when pitching locally.
When to Go Loud. In some instances, it makes sense to provide an exclusive story angle to a reporter. This requires advance coordination and explicit agreements, and depending on the size and type of funding round, this approach could be very beneficial. In others, sending a release to a larger group with an embargo (including stipulations on when a story can be made public) is worthwhile. The most common tactic is to send funding announcements early in the morning directly to a curated media list and concurrently link to the announcement from the company website and social media channels.
Update Your Owned Media. Is your website ready for potential investors visiting your site? Do you have an active account on Twitter or LinkedIn? Check that any bios, headshots and company information is all current, and remind employees and team members to do the same. And don’t forget to upload the press release onto your website the day of the announcement.
We’ve worked across the startup ecosystem and have helped land press exposure for pre-seed funding rounds all the way up to series A and IPOs. These tips represent a few of the best B2B practices that we’ve identified and apply to most categories, including high tech, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, cleantech, renewable energies and lifestyle.
Leveraging funding rounds for positive media placements should be one of the easiest decisions a CEO can make. MAPR is part of Stryker-Munley Group, a nationwide communications agency with offices across high-growth markets. Our shared ability to provide local insights can be critical to generating buzz, and we’re always available for a free consultation on your next company announcement.