Dec 13, 2023 / by Cision News Editor

Building a startup from scratch comes with its fair share of challenges. And finding ways to draw attention to the new company—especially one with limited resources—is a  significant hurdle that should be faced early on.

Often, entrepreneurs, business owners, and marketers for startups look for solutions in paid content distribution methods. It involves spending money on display ads and pay-per-click marketing to get the word out about their products or services.

However, for the last 100 years, the most effective PR tool for startups has remained the humble press release. A startup press release is a cost-effective way for a company to draw attention to its brand and generate interest from potential customers. 

It’s also a tool that requires careful understanding to get right.

This guide will help you learn how a startup can make the most out of limited resources and leverage the true power of a press release. 


Startups and the Need for Traction

Every entrepreneur knows that the early stages of a startup are crucial for a genuine breakthrough and long-term success. It’s important to focus on essential processes like product validation and strategizing to gain initial traction. Both activities involve attracting the attention of potential customers and investors—which, in turn, requires a good understanding of branding.

A press release for startups is the perfect tool to help achieve these goals. Not only can a well-crafted (and distributed) press release lead to enhanced brand visibility, it allows entrepreneurs to determine at an early stage whether their idea will generate enough consumer demand to be financially feasible. 

Crafting and distributing a PR release costs significantly less than traditional marketing but promises a broad reach, more credibility, and the attention of various media channels. 


Announcing the Launch With a Bang

Why are press releases important during the launch phase?

For starters, it allows a brand to share everything it wants about its products and services. And it builds a connection with potential customers and journalists through a highly engaging brand narrative. This could include details about the startup’s origin, the mission of its founders, and the problems it is attempting to solve.

A well-written brand press release also provides information outlining the scope of the project, defining its USP for a broader audience, and even breaking down its pricing model. Making the public aware of these points differentiates your business from the competition.

A strong USP statement is also what makes a release newsworthy. Take the examples of companies like Tesla or Apple, whose new product announcement press releases are consistently reported on by mainstream media outlets.

If available at this stage, consider including testimonials or endorsements of your products from big names in the industry. These will help establish your credibility from the outset. 


Press Releases for Funding Rounds

A startup press release is a valuable tool that can attract potential investors. 

While social media marketing, paid advertising, and other such strategies effectively promote products to customers, investors are more likely to respond to concrete information about a company’s C-suite executives, partnerships, or milestones.

Investors look for elements that showcase the money-making potential of a new company. A leadership-focused press release that highlights high-level executives as experts in their fields is highly encouraging. 

A good example is a piece about a small business that aims to boost eco-friendly practices. The brand could benefit from positioning its CEO as a climate expert. With some strategic planning, the startup can earn mentions in the daily news cycle and then grab the attention of the corporate world.

Similarly, team members with compelling career trajectories could be invited to tell their stories, showcasing a brand’s diversity and expertise.

Investors may also be drawn to data-centric releases. Concrete figures could be represented through infographics or charts to improve visual appeal.

These elements, combined with a clear brand narrative, will go a long way in presenting your company as an attractive prospect for funders.  


Building Relationships with Relevant Media

For a press release to achieve its intended purpose, it must get media attention. And to do that, it’s crucial to build relationships with publications.

When a startup has journalists on its side, it gains access to a platform on which it can control how the organization is presented.

It is best to target industry-specific journalists and relevant influencers with new product press releases. For example, a startup that aims to revolutionize healthcare with a new product should not expect its release to be published in an automobile-focused magazine. 

Here are some best practices to establish long-term relationships with the media: 

  • Find and reach out to journalists in your industry that align with your vision. 

  • Periodically follow up by sending them tips and releases related to your products and other offerings. 

  • Offer exclusive access to cover your company.

  • Offer to do interviews before crucial events, such as a product launch or an announcement of a new round of funding.

A similar principle applies when reaching out to relevant influencers.

The online directory Yelp is a good example of leveraging the promise of exclusive access to great success. During its launch, Yelp reached out to several influential reviewers and offered to feature them as “elite reviewers” with invites to exclusive events.

This simple media outreach strategy helped Yelp build a trusted network of influencers that helped it grow into a global company over the years.


Multipurpose Use of Press Release Content

You may be wondering how press releases for business have remained relevant over the years. The answer has to do with their adaptability.

With the introduction of many digital platforms for marketing, the simple press release has transformed into a multipurpose document that can grab attention within any media landscape.

The same content written in a journalistic style to attract the attention of publications has evolved into content that can be used for social media campaigns, investor pitches, or the bones of a company website.

How does this work?

The first step is identifying a target audience.

A press release can draw in journalists, customers, or potential investors. The question here is, which of these groups is most relevant to you? Furthermore, what would they want or need to know about your company? 

Depending on the answer, you could explore various formats to repurpose a press release: creating blog posts, infographics, video content, or even podcasts. They must be tailored to match the format and meet the target audience requirements.

For example, key points from a product launch press release could be repurposed into an explainer YouTube video or as infographics for a social media post. Each piece should be optimized for the platform they are posted on, with links pointing to relevant pages on the startup’s website. 

To measure the efficacy of these content pieces, make sure to track topline metrics, such as organic traffic, engagement, leads, social follows and shares, conversions, etc.


The Bottom Line

The multifaceted potential and affordability of PR for startups make it the ideal media outreach tool. To reap the benefits of better visibility, growth, and credibility, it is strongly recommended to leverage the press release for your startup.

For further questions, don’t hesitate to schedule time to speak with an expert today. We can help you with a broad range of subjects as well as key tips for crafting and optimizing an effective press release.

About Cision News Editor

Articles written by the Cision team.