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MIKE BUTCHER
TECHCRUNCH
GETTING PRESS
FOR YOUR STARTUP
#STARTUPADDVENTURE
Mike Butcher
Editor At Large
TechCrunch.com
mikebutcher@techcrunch.com
Twitter: @mikebutcher
Linkedin.com/in/mikebutcher
F...
News is a Purple Cow
News is “Man Bites Dog”
News is also about
making my publication
AMAZING
Just BEING a startup does
not make you “News”
The fact that you exist is
NOT news!
The fact that you exist is
NOT news!
Want to be part of the
news? TIME your news to
be RELEVANT
Conversations usually
beat press releases
Why? Conversations are
about getting to know the
news media.
Negotiate before you
shoot
Why negotiate? 

Here’s why:
A day in the life of a
stressed tech writer.
INCOMING!!

Email

SMS

Voice calls

Skype / IM

Facebook IM / Messages

Twitter @replies

Twitter DMs

Face-to-Face
What I have on my plate
on most days:

3-5 News stories by 9am

4-5 Feature ideas

Write-ups from trips

Arranging travel
...
Then I get this:
“
@mikebutcher Hey Mike,
we just launched our
startup! Want to write

about it?
”
So, for me to drop
everything and write
about you, your story
needs to be BETTER
than everything else.
Answer: Unlikely.



So – You increase you
chances by pre-briefing



E.g. One/two line email: 



“Mike, we’re doing X ne...
Ideal pitch over email:

Mike!

We are launching X.

It will compete with Y.

It’s better than Y because.

We have raised ...
How DO you negotiate?
•  We want to offer you this as an exclusive
•  We’re : Ready when you are, post whenever
you like i...
But put substance into
the first pitch



And don’t ask permission.

JUST DO IT
“Hey Mike, Would
you mind if I sent you a
...
And: Get to the damn point!
Mike, given your background, I thought you could be interested in talking to the
founder of BL...
Your launch 

party is not news
Even better:



Great products 

make news.



A product that goes viral
is much better ‘news’
than a PR release.

So buil...
Be a great contact
Make Your OWN content!
In other words: 



MAKE some damn news
yourself!



• Start a fight: 

e.g. Apple Vs Everyone

Understand who you are
talking to
Target the right title & the
right writer:



• Target influencers

• National papers often
follow big blogs like TC
Try to pitch to a writer in
person



If not, then add
personality to email
pitch. Include pictures/
video
Be quirky, pitch with a
secret wooden box!
The media likes talking to
the people in charge
Should you hire a PR
firm? Only when you
really need to.
PR firms = Relationships

Introductions do the same
One company in a space
is not (generally) a story
Don’t be annoyed if you
don’t get coverage
400 emails a day, other news stories,
just busy, whatever. Stuff happens.
Please pitch like a human
So What IS a Story?
•  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z”
So What IS a Story?
•  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z”
•  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…”
So What IS a Story?
•  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z”
•  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…”
•  Insight: “Trend X will chang...
So What IS a Story?
•  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z”
•  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…”
•  Insight: “Trend X will chang...
So What IS a Story?
•  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z”
•  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…”
•  Insight: “Trend X will chang...
So What IS a Story?
•  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z”
•  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…”
•  Insight: “Trend X will chang...
So What IS a Story?
•  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z”
•  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…”
•  Insight: “Trend X will chang...
What should you send 

the media? 

It’s all about saving the media time
• LIST OF KEY BULLET POINTS FIRST
e.g.
• WireWAX ...
What should you send us?
It’s all about saving the media time
• Press Release IN PLAIN TEXT IN THE EMAIL
(Do NOT send pres...
To Summarize
•  Know Who To Contact
•  Create Relationships Before The Pitch
•  Networking and creating buzz will help,
be...
DON’T!
•  Be insulting
•  Give me your whole life story
•  Send 100 bloggers the same email
•  Don’t send me the same pitc...
DON’T!
•  Don’t try to PR your company because
you want to be famous
•  Don’t be vague: Identify what you want
covered
Yes, but how do I get on
TechCrunch.com?



(Do all of the above)
Mike Butcher
@mikebutcher
Thanks!
Mike Butcher - Getting Press For Your Startup - Startup AddVenture Middle East 2015
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Mike Butcher - Getting Press For Your Startup - Startup AddVenture Middle East 2015

  1. 1. MIKE BUTCHER TECHCRUNCH GETTING PRESS FOR YOUR STARTUP #STARTUPADDVENTURE
  2. 2. Mike Butcher Editor At Large TechCrunch.com mikebutcher@techcrunch.com Twitter: @mikebutcher Linkedin.com/in/mikebutcher Facebook.com/mikebutcher
  3. 3. News is a Purple Cow
  4. 4. News is “Man Bites Dog”
  5. 5. News is also about making my publication AMAZING
  6. 6. Just BEING a startup does not make you “News”
  7. 7. The fact that you exist is NOT news!
  8. 8. The fact that you exist is NOT news!
  9. 9. Want to be part of the news? TIME your news to be RELEVANT
  10. 10. Conversations usually beat press releases
  11. 11. Why? Conversations are about getting to know the news media.
  12. 12. Negotiate before you shoot
  13. 13. Why negotiate? 
 Here’s why:
  14. 14. A day in the life of a stressed tech writer.
  15. 15. INCOMING!!
 Email
 SMS
 Voice calls
 Skype / IM
 Facebook IM / Messages
 Twitter @replies
 Twitter DMs
 Face-to-Face
  16. 16. What I have on my plate on most days:
 3-5 News stories by 9am
 4-5 Feature ideas
 Write-ups from trips
 Arranging travel
 Arranging meetings
 Incoming!
  17. 17. Then I get this:
  18. 18. “ @mikebutcher Hey Mike, we just launched our startup! Want to write
 about it? ”
  19. 19. So, for me to drop everything and write about you, your story needs to be BETTER than everything else.
  20. 20. Answer: Unlikely.
 
 So – You increase you chances by pre-briefing
 
 E.g. One/two line email: 
 
 “Mike, we’re doing X next week. Are you Interested?”
  21. 21. Ideal pitch over email:
 Mike!
 We are launching X.
 It will compete with Y.
 It’s better than Y because.
 We have raised Z money.
 From XYZ investors.
 You have the exclusive.
 Here’s more links (no PDFs)
  22. 22. How DO you negotiate? •  We want to offer you this as an exclusive •  We’re : Ready when you are, post whenever you like in the next few days •  OR •  “Exclusivity lasts for the next /2 days” • We are NOT going out to other media until after the story is live with on your site • The story is embargoed, but here’s the info
  23. 23. But put substance into the first pitch
 
 And don’t ask permission.
 JUST DO IT “Hey Mike, Would you mind if I sent you a press release?” #FAIL
  24. 24. And: Get to the damn point! Mike, given your background, I thought you could be interested in talking to the founder of BLAH BLAH BLAH. With on-going debates on whether we are entering a second Internet bubble and predictions that this year would yield the most IPOs of technology stock since 2000, BLAHs trongly believes that the new wave of tech start- ups would only be successful if they can add value by creating new markets, rather than focus only on streamlining efficiencies. A case in point is his business – 80% of the properties Flat-Club offers have not been previously available in the market. BLAHcan also talk to you about what it means and what it takes to be a successful Internet start-up today. If you are interested in talking to him please let me know and I can arrange an interview. Below I’ve provided further information on BLAH.  OR Interview with the founder of this startup? He’s experienced because… He can talk about… the tech bubble… donkeys… whatever Here’s some more info below. Here’s a link Thanks
  25. 25. Your launch 
 party is not news
  26. 26. Even better:
 
 Great products 
 make news.
 
 A product that goes viral is much better ‘news’ than a PR release.
 So build a GREAT product.
  27. 27. Be a great contact
  28. 28. Make Your OWN content!
  29. 29. In other words: 
 
 MAKE some damn news yourself!
 
 • Start a fight: 
 e.g. Apple Vs Everyone

  30. 30. Understand who you are talking to
  31. 31. Target the right title & the right writer:
 
 • Target influencers
 • National papers often follow big blogs like TC
  32. 32. Try to pitch to a writer in person
 
 If not, then add personality to email pitch. Include pictures/ video
  33. 33. Be quirky, pitch with a secret wooden box!
  34. 34. The media likes talking to the people in charge
  35. 35. Should you hire a PR firm? Only when you really need to.
  36. 36. PR firms = Relationships
 Introductions do the same
  37. 37. One company in a space is not (generally) a story
  38. 38. Don’t be annoyed if you don’t get coverage 400 emails a day, other news stories, just busy, whatever. Stuff happens.
  39. 39. Please pitch like a human
  40. 40. So What IS a Story? •  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z”
  41. 41. So What IS a Story? •  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” •  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…”
  42. 42. So What IS a Story? •  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” •  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…” •  Insight: “Trend X will change the world”
  43. 43. So What IS a Story? •  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” •  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…” •  Insight: “Trend X will change the world” •  Evolution: “Startup Y is like the X for Z”
  44. 44. So What IS a Story? •  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” •  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…” •  Insight: “Trend X will change the world” •  Evolution: “Startup Y is like the X for Z” •  Success: “Awesome Y created!”
  45. 45. So What IS a Story? •  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” •  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…” •  Insight: “Trend X will change the world” •  Evolution: “Startup Y is like the X for Z” •  Success: “Awesome Y created!” •  Failure: “Company X dying/screwed up”
  46. 46. So What IS a Story? •  Competition/Drama: “X will Kill Z” •  Gossip: “CEO/Company rumour…” •  Insight: “Trend X will change the world” •  Evolution: “Startup Y is like the X for Z” •  Success: “Awesome Y created!” •  Failure: “Company X dying/screwed up” •  You are The Story: “Kid creates FB” •  Celebrity: Ashton Kutcher invests! •  Cairo company hacks Facebook!
  47. 47. What should you send 
 the media? 
 It’s all about saving the media time • LIST OF KEY BULLET POINTS FIRST e.g. • WireWAX has received investment from Passion Capital • wireWAX have over 1,500 paying subscribers ETC ETC • Video embed codes and setup for the dimensions of TC • Crunchbase entry • Direct hyperlink to web-ready logo (NOT a hi-res image. This is not a fucking print title)
  48. 48. What should you send us? It’s all about saving the media time • Press Release IN PLAIN TEXT IN THE EMAIL (Do NOT send press releases as attachments) • Screen shots are ok as attached • Link to preview of site/app • Extra quotes • Links to previous articles about Startup • Mobile phone number/Skype address for key contacts etc
  49. 49. To Summarize •  Know Who To Contact •  Create Relationships Before The Pitch •  Networking and creating buzz will help, before you pitch •  Have a unique story •  Personalize the pitch •  Lay out the benefit for the title’s readers
  50. 50. DON’T! •  Be insulting •  Give me your whole life story •  Send 100 bloggers the same email •  Don’t send me the same pitch multiple times – come up with new angles
  51. 51. DON’T! •  Don’t try to PR your company because you want to be famous •  Don’t be vague: Identify what you want covered
  52. 52. Yes, but how do I get on TechCrunch.com?
 
 (Do all of the above)
  53. 53. Mike Butcher @mikebutcher Thanks!

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