B2B tech companies no longer have it easy to secure earned media coverage for funding announcements. With so many startups telling the media they raised money, reporters can be more selective than ever—and why wouldn’t they be? If a reporter is scanning two similar pitches where one discloses a company’s valuation and the other does not, guess which one they’re likely to reply to.
Here are 10 ways to upgrade your funding announcement strategy:
- Share the funding amount and valuation
2. Timing: Avoid announcing your funding round during an industry event (it’ll get buried)
3. Tie yourself to a current narrative or trend
4. Be prepared: Add 1–2 executive and investor quotes to your media pitches (snag this media pitch template)
5. Do not add in the hiring of executive hires (save that for another time to keep a steady drumbeat of news)
6. Email customers before the announcement explaining how the money benefits them now and in the future
7. Ask the VC firm to publish an article on their site, personal LinkedIn accounts of execs, Medium, or Substack that relays the importance to the industry
8. Share the news with regional media; offer an executive to talk
9. Tell your investors about the announcement about two weeks out + arm them with social media-friendly graphics to post
10. Inform journalists 14-plus business days in advance (they’ll pen a better story and respect you)
Maximizing funding news
When B2B companies make a funding announcement, they rarely secure all the media coverage they should. What usually happens is an in-house communications pro or PR agency secures one feature story about a funding round in a sought-after, recognized publication like TechCrunch or VentureBeat. High-fives happen and employees share the news link on LinkedIn, then the work ends here. This is a big mistake.
Fundraising news can be attractive to trade journalists and business reporters at regional publications, but they’re often completely ignored or pushed to the side in favor of the “big names.” But tell me, what regional business reporter wouldn’t be interested in a growing local company?
Because many funding announcements are put out to get a company noticed by more investors, newsletters that cover fundraising activity should be another group that receives funding news.
Is a news release needed?
If you’re considering a funding announcement press release, know that it plays a small part in a PR campaign strategy. In media relations, the pitch and the timing of news matter more than what’s in a news release. So no, a news release is not completely necessary.
The 6–14 hours that usually go into developing news releases are better off used for something else like writing posts for the leadership team to publish on LinkedIn or designing an animated graphic for LinkedIn that’ll grab the attention of LinkedIn users. I’ll give you a secret: a well-written blog post with substance can replace a press release.
Now, do investors want to see their quotes in a release? Yes. Too many releases are solely written for this purpose. I said it.
What‘s next after the news
After you’ve followed up on your media pitch (two emails are plenty), send ‘momentum signals’ to journalists. Let the news about your funding “breathe” but don’t wait long. Three to six weeks after the funding news went out is normally enough time to go back to reporters with something new. Of course, pay attention to the news cycle. If breaking news has taken over, hold off on pitching anything.
So what to send? Customer success stories (CSS)—where customers are available for interviews—or recent wins/accolades/awards. Of course, don’t forget the importance of relaying strong points of view from a company leader on a hot topic that you strongly feel a reporter’s audience is paying attention to.
When it comes to the number of media pitches to write, it depends on the vertical a B2B company is in, but consider penning at least three pitches that go to multiple media outlets. Just remember, the personalized pitch you send to editors who run VC newsletters should look different than one sent to reporters at trade publications.
Please reach out if you need more tips or help.