Raising a funding round is often an exhaustive effort that doesn’t end once contracts are signed. For most companies, raising a round marks a momentous occasion that can support the growth of the organization and validates its business model. It also means that investors now have growth expectations tied to that funding. While announcing VC investment alone doesn’t garner the interest it used to among reporters, crafting a thoughtful and compelling PR narrative around your funding can drive interest that delivers leads and sets you up for the next investment.
If you’re closing a deal, now is the time to leverage your funding to catapult your company into the spotlight. Determine your goals, whether that be increasing revenue, leads or recruitment and shape your narrative around that. A well executed funding announcement can be a game changer for your organization’s success. It can highlight your innovative work, attract potential partners, and solidify confidence amongst existing and new investors.
Putting lackluster effort behind an announcement is a missed opportunity. It can damage your credibility among investors as it could be interpreted as a general lack of interest toward your solution from reporters and therefore the industry as a whole. Developing a strategic media relations plan that is thoughtfully executed can tip the scales between leading the headlines and falling behind competitors who understand how public perception can impact overall business operations.
A Funding Announcement Must Be About More Than Just Money, Craft a Newsworthy Narrative
First things first, behind every successful funding announcement, there is a compelling story. Constructing a narrative that finds the bigger picture of your funding news is critical. Identifying the correct mixture of the founding story, leadership, solutions and wider industry trends creates a complete package that a reporter can get excited about.
Sometimes executive leadership feels that simply describing their solution should be enough to garner attention. It rarely is. Reporters aren’t writing marketing pieces on behalf of those they report on. They are journalists who want to cover stories that are changing an industry, who’s founders have an interesting journey or who would have broad appeal to general audiences. Finding the correct storyline to go out with to reporters is important to securing opportunities that result in published articles. An experienced public relations professional would be able to guide you through the process.
Identify the Right Publications and Reporters
Emailing random journalists from random publications a generic template note about your funding round is not the optimal way to go. It could ultimately cause more harm than good. Reporters are busier than ever with less resources/support. They are inundated with emails from companies just like yours who are also wanting them to write a story about their company because they too are the, “next big thing.” Breaking through the noise is a difficult task but not an impossible one when you are thoughtful about your approach.
The risk of a shotgun approach to media outreach is that when reporters get pitches outside of their coverage area, that informs them that you did not do your research about what they cover. Best case scenario your note gets ignored or possibly sent to spam, but at worst, it could get your company’s email domain blacklisted. There are some reporters who take to social media to publicly shame off-target pitches – often blurring out only the identifying contact information.
Before you can send off your news into the world, you need to come up with your ideal industry contacts. Creating a media list with key media professionals and publications will help keep you organized as well as send your news to the right outlets. Add podcasts, broadcasters, journalists, and other types of industry specialists to your outreach. Make sure you take the time to add the appropriate publications and develop a well thought out pitch to go with each contact. This will only elevate your outreach and help secure coverage.
Select the Right Spokespeople
Even prior to engaging in media outreach, it should be clear who will be the voice for the announcement. You should have one person who will be speaking to the media per announcement. It should be clear based on title who will be participating in any type of media opportunities from within the company or which potential partners will be tapped if the reporter seeks to speak to additional sources.
All parties who are participating should be provided with training that prepares them to speak to the media with key messages that can be consistently delivered to journalists. These messages should directly speak to your goals and you’ll know your PR is successful when the resulting coverage reflects these messages.
A well executed funding announcement can bring the right attention to your business at a critical moment in your organization’s lifespan. By crafting a newsworthy narrative, identifying the right media outlets, and selecting the right spokespeople, you can maximize your announcements potential.