Marketing and PR for startups
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  • 1. GUERILLA MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR STARTUPS “How Reach.ly got into TechCrunch” Andris Berzins and Ernests Stals Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 2. WHAT TO REMEMBERPR is the most cost- Companies and productseffective marketing are boring. People are interestingNews needs to benewsworthy Figure out how to leverage big partner PRKeep it simple, stupid muscle & spendFind the customer and Build relationships withwhere they hang out journalistsSet a news deadline Hard work pays off Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 3. PR IS THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE MARKETING Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 4. PR COSTS LESSFor startups, PR is absolutely the best investmentMany classic marketing tools are more suitable for maturecompanies or later-stage startups Trade shows, print advertising, TV etc. These tools are great for scaling when you have a clearly defined and established set of potential customers and a mature productEmail, web presence, social and all those things are the basics to doBut for most startups the key is to get noticedGreat PR can cost only your own time.Valuable, but better thancash. Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 5. A WORD ON TRADE SHOWSFor startups, the bestinvestment is simply to attendExhibiting costs much morethan you expect Not just the booth, also flights, hotels, expenses, give-aways, internet access etc. Remember need enough staff to always man booth
  • 6. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONSSome goods are experiential....
  • 7. NEWS NEEDS TO BE NEWSWORTHYAndris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 8. WHAT IS NEWSWORTHINESS?DIFFERENTUNCOMMONBIGGESTBESTTRENDS & DATACELEBRITY Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 9. SALESFORCE.COM EXAMPLESProvocative “Nosoftware” logoFake demonstration atSiebel user conference
  • 10. KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID
  • 11. ONE-LINE PITCH EXAMPLES: FROM RECENT ANGELPADPipeDrive wants to simplify business software, bycreating a simple way for a company to manage itssales pipelineIDoneThis is a motivational email service that asksyou, via email, “What’d you get done today?” andexpects an email response in list form, every dayA “Dropbox for videos”, LikeAndy is a mobile appvideo that lets people distribute their videos acrossmultiple devices Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 12. FIND THE CUSTOMER ANDWHERE THEY HANG OUT
  • 13. GO FIND THE CUSTOMERSteve Blank: “Get out of the building”Find the right mediums: those who want to communicate toyour target customers (TechCrunch might not be right!)Startups need to focus on niches and find cost-effective ways oftargeting themIf B2B, ask yourself who is the decision-makerRemember to ask customers how they get their informationabout new products/services - you might be surprised at theanswers Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 14. REACH.LY EXAMPLEKey media partnersBigger is not betterContact - double-checkInvest in contentKeep in touchUse graphics Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 15. SET A DEADLINE
  • 16. JOURNALISTS WORK FOR DEADLINESFind out when deadlines are Often much further out than you think Reach.ly worked on launch announcement for over a monthLast-minute work causes problems forjournalistsUse the deadline to force a decision Use embargoes and exclusives
  • 17. COMPANIES AND PRODUCTS ARE BORING
  • 18. SPICE IT UPWho wants to read about the nth techieproduct launch? Weave your pitch into abroader story e.g. Livebookings Pocket DinerAdd the personal element - foundersare especially evocativeBundle stories together e.g. Reach.ly funding and launchAdd data & use infographics
  • 19. LEVERAGE THE BIG GUYS
  • 20. BIG COMPANIES CAN HELPThey have much bigger PR budgetsAnalysts and industry pundits follow themIf you can hang onto their coat-tails, it can be a good rideBut beware of the time it takes and the lack of controlConsider press to be one of the tools in a salesnegotiation - and make it explicit, usually written
  • 21. AEROSCOUT EXAMPLERe-publishing ofpress release(leveragesdistribution) Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 22. AEROSCOUT EXAMPLEJoint partnerpress opportunityAlso greatexample ofleveragingcustomers Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 23. BUILD LONG TERM RELATIONSHIPS WITH KEY JOURNALISTS
  • 24. JOURNALISTS ARE PEOPLE TOOSpend time building relationships with journalistsFollow them on Twitter, include their @twitter handle when retweetinga storyTry to help them out with a story, even when it does not necessarilybenefit you directly. Cultivate favors.Don’t treat them like a transactionIf you have quality opinions on key topics, they will start to come to youfor industry commentRemember: NOTHING you say is confidential. If you don’t want it in thenews, don’t say it! Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 25. HARD WORK ANDPERSISTENCE PAY OFF
  • 26. KEEP AT IT, DON’T GIVE UPNO SPELLING OR GRAMMATICAL MISTAKES INA PRESS RELEASE!Create a long list of targets and work through itDon’t give up until you get a flat out “NO”Use the phone, email alone won’t do itReference their other work in your communicationto show you know what the journalist writesFor Reach.ly, it took four days of repeatedcommunication to get the TechCrunch article sold,and they finally agreed only at the last minute
  • 27. WHAT TO REMEMBERPR is the most cost- Companies and productseffective marketing are boring. People are interestingNews needs to benewsworthy Figure out how to leverage big partner PRKeep it simple, stupid muscle & spendFind the customer and Build relationships withwhere they hang out journalistsSet a news deadline Hard work pays off Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011
  • 28. QUESTIONS?Andris Bērziņš Ernests Štālsakberzins [at] gmail.com ernests [at] reach.ly@akberzins @so_on Andris Berzins - @akberzins - LABACA Academy - @LABACA - www.labaca.org - October 2011