5 Mistakes Startups Make When Pitching to the Media

Startups have a number of challenges ahead of them. You have to find investors, you have to create and sell your product or service. And of course, you have to take care of marketing and cash flow and all the things that make a business a success.


Getting coveted media attention can make all of this much easier. It can help you find and motivate investors and it can certainly help drive interest for your products or services, not to mention increase sales. That means that your press and PR strategy is critical to your success. Media pitches, therefore, are an important tactic. Let’s make sure you avoid the most common startup mistakes.

#1 Going it Alone – If you’ve never done any type of press or public relations, consider getting help with your PR. You have a ton of tasks and responsibilities on your plate, and your media pitching efforts need your full attention. Consider working with an agency or a consultant to at least get your PR strategy lined up. Then, if you feel confident, you can manage the pitching on your own.

#2 The Mass Pitch – Being pressed for time and wanting to maximize your results is fine. Sending a mass press release and pitch to journalists is not. Media pitches need to be personalized. You have to research each journalist or reporter, learn who their audience is, what they write, and what they need from a pitch. Then submit a personalized pitch to them. You’ll have a better response and you’ll build stronger media relationships.

#3 Pitching to More than One Person at the Same Publication – This is a surefire way to lose credibility with the media. Choose one key editor or reporter to pitch to at a publication and focus your relationship building and pitching efforts on them.

#4 Using Personal Email – This is a business relationship. Send your pitch to a business email. Never communicate via a personal email address.

#5 Not Following Up – Once you send your pitch, follow up. Reporters are busy too. If you don’t follow up, then you may be missing out on an opportunity. At the very least, it’s not professional. In your pitch always tell them how they can contact you and when you’re going to follow up. Then follow through on that promise.

Finally, make sure that you understand the reporter’s audience and how your story fits with their needs. You’re not selling products or services here. You’re selling your story, and to do that you must make it relevant and valuable to the media representative. What is in it for them and their audience? That’s the focus of your pitch.

Pitching to the media is a long-term process that requires patience, persistence, and a plan. Start planning early in your startup process. Build relationships and know what you have to offer. A good pitch can be the thing you need to launch your business to the next level.

Call us today to speak to one of our PR specialists: 1-800-713-7278

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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