For the companies that have successfully secured their term sheet, the news cycle and shift in public perception have made many CEOs rethink how they should announce the new capital.
Startups should consult their PR team, but here’s some food for thought in deciding if and how to announce the news:
Those who are concerned about publicizing a new round of funding at this time are most commonly hesitant about two things:
1. The splash any news will make right now with publications so focused on COVID-19 related content
While the news cycle has been turned upside down with almost every reporter getting assigned COVID-related stories, we see that VC-reporters are still covering deals at a similar pace to before the pandemic. With the right approach, a splash is absolutely feasible.
2. How the public and employees will view additional capital if prior downsizing had to occur
There’s no doubt that a round of budget-induced layoffs, followed by a glowing release on new capital, could fall wrong. This doesn’t mean a company has to stay silent and hope no one sees the SEC filing. It is critical, however, to work with your PR team on transparent corporate messaging and ensure the spokesperson is ready to address that in future interviews.
In BAM’s AMA series and through the teams’ relationships, we’re hearing reporters request concise and thoughtful communication, now more than ever. This means:
It doesn’t mean that companies need to manipulate the news to relate to COVID-19. If there is a strong connection, then make it known, but reporters will see through it otherwise.
What hasn’t changed in the wake of coronavirus is the hunger for exclusive story rights. Reporters want to be the first to break the news and this is a key strategy to locking in a funding feature as exemplified in a recent feature BAM secured for a client’s $6.5M Series A on TechCrunch.
As the media landscape continues to change in response to COVID-19, it is important to have conversations about the best ways to communicate company announcements. We’ve seen that a thoughtful approach can lead to solid media coverage.
Danielle McNally of Marie Claire, Spencer Dukoff of Men’s Health, Arianna Davis of OprahMag.com, and Robin Hilmantel of Women’s Health joined us for our latest AMA.
On April 9, we hosted our first Ask Media Anything (AMA) with Salvador Rodriguez of CNBC, Natasha Mascarenhas of TechCrunch, and Laura Mandaro of Forbes.