We don’t have a PR firm at Aviary and deal directly with the press ourselves. This may change down the road, but for now it works pretty well.
I wanted to share how we approach press at Aviary. This will hopefully help other startups in some best practices.
Before we launch anything we put all the potential spins on the news we are announcing on a whiteboard.
We ask ourselves-
How many stories do we have?
Is this better suited for an exclusive to one outlet or embargo’d for multiple outlets?
Once we decide on the route we match up the various outlets, their respective audiences, and stories.
We have a few things in mind when we do this: 1) We want to get the best and most exposure for our company. 2) We want the writers to get unique and interesting stories that mesh well with their readership. 3) We want readers to read about our company and feel like each article they read is not a total rehash of the same news (this is really hard).
We also think about what our goals are out of the press. Are we trying to get users for our new tool? Are we trying to raise money? Are we trying to get developers to integrate our tech? Something else?
The last part of this post is the way I personally look at the tech outlets out there. I have had only good experiences with the press so far, so it will mostly be butterflies and unicorns.
First, I always look at Techmeme.com/lb to see which outlets are getting the most techmeme love. It’s also a great list of outlets.
TechCrunch- They are a great outlet to get general tech awareness, also great for announcing funding if you are going out for another round. Readership is VCs, founders, and they get some developer love too.
Mashable- They love covering news you can use. If you have an web or mobile app that they can send their readers to download or try, they are the best.
Business Insider/SAI- They have a business edge to them. If your story is about creating rev/monetizing or raising money- they are a great outlet for that.
The Verge- Fairly new player to the game, basically the entire former engadget team. They have really awesome in-depth pieces.
The Next Web- I see them as a mix of TechCrunch and Mashable. They have a consumer/developer feel. Good reach too- the writers push out all their colleagues stuff very nicely.
GigaOm- I like their stuff. Their readership is more tech understanding than others, high-brow even. Good for developer news- but also has some consumer flair.
Venturebeat- They have been snatching up a ton of writers from all over. They are building up a bigger NYC presence which is good. They are known for venture related content, but I have seen other tech related news like partnerships, product announcements, etc (like DevBeat).
Betabeat- The team at Betabeat definitely hustle. They are always on the hunt for stories and are the closest thing to snarky investigative tech journalism out there (and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible).
All Things D- They are basically WSJ’s tech section. They have some powerhouses there and have been breaking a lot of news in the past few months. They do funding, firing, hiring, raising, company announcing, and more. Not the ideal outlet for a small announcement (mostly because they just won’t cover you).
Bits Blog- They are the NYT’s tech section. They usually do company funding, new company launches, the beat on the big boys and girls (Apple, Facebook, etc). Know some writers there but haven’t personally worked with them yet so don’t know 100% the process.
Fastcompany, Inc, Wired, Entrepreneur- I am coupling all of these together because they are tech focused magazine/web outlets. They all do product reviews and major stories. You can pitch them big industry stories (try to get the focus on the story to be you, if you can).
I hope this list helps startup folks get a little sense of dealing and thinking about company press. It is an important part of the startup game.