The ball bounces into your PR team’s court as they hustle to piece together a strong press release, set up a media exclusive and disseminate the news to key industry reporters. Not too long ago your funding news would be enough to lock you in an interview with FORTUNE or The Wall Street Journal. Now, however, you’re competing amongst hundreds of other companies that are announcing funding, and you can bet there will be ones with a higher round. So how can you elevate your approach to earn visibility in a saturated news cycle?
Funding news is always relevant to reporters who cover deals, but the way you frame your pitch can determine if you’re included as one sentence in a roundup or if you lock in a feature interview. The key part of this is to tell a narrative beyond we raised money. That’s great, but what else can you use to hook a writer for a bigger story? Let’s look at how the BAM team approached a client’s sizable Series A.
This interview was published on CNBC.com. Rather than leading with a typical funding announcement that could read as, “Drop raises $21 million in Series A,” the team worked with the reporter to lead with additional news the company had to share (in this case a new hire), paired with what the startup does. The result? “Drop, a rewards app start-up snags Airbnb's former head of engineering” with a subtitle “Drop raised $21 million in series A funding to grow its loyalty rewards app.”
Don’t think your hard-earned $3 million isn’t press worthy, but you will have to get creative on messaging. That can be done by positioning the larger story upfront, as discussed above, or in something unique in your timing and content. Another example of this can be seen in BAM client Catalia Health’s unique seed raise that was spread out in three announcements: seed ($1.5 million), seed extension ($2.5 million), and then our cheeky-named lagniappe round ($4 million) which is French Cajun for “a little something extra.”
The lagniappe news release gave us the chance to touch base with reporters who missed the previous announcements, or wanted to follow up on how the company was doing several months later. In this case, the breakdown of the announcements enabled BAM to secure multiple points of coverage, with a quirky tribute paying homage to the founder hometown roots.
While the positioning of your announcement is key to landing press, it’s also beneficial to rethink the audience you want to reach and how that impacts the media outlets you engage. Don’t ignore the often low-hanging fruit. Top tier business, tech and mainstream news outlets are almost always the targets when pitching funding news, but it’s smart to step back and evaluate who else you want to reach because you could be missing out on coverage. Working with trade outlets is a smart way to land in-depth features in front of the industry that could land you key sales or partners.
It’s also valuable to leverage your funding to assist with other company endeavors - for example, acquiring talent. BAM pitched the traditional media list for San Diego-based TVPage’s announcement but also reached smaller business-publications in the area to highlight the company’s growth as an opportunity for new hires.
Curious to know how else you can get the most out of your funding announcements, drop us a line.