SXSW Startup Insight: 12 Tips to Pitch to Top Global Media
When you launch a startup app or service and you’re ready for grabbing global media attention on a shoestring budget, what are the secrets to media success? SXSW Interactive started the massive multimedia event in Austin with a Startup America panel that shared all you need to know to get global media attention. Led by Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership, the panel featured:
- Sarah Needleman, Wall Street Journal (@sarahneedleman)
- Eric Markowitz, INC. (@ericmarkowitz)
- Hamish McKenzie, Pandodaily (@hamishmckenzie).
The challenge for a handful of start-ups was to give a 60-second pitch about why global media should feature the start-up. The panel gave a few tips before starting:
1) How does your company, app or service fit into a broader trend?
2) Avoid using clichés like your app is “the next geo-local-social app.…”
3) Use the Forrest Gump Rule: Explain things in a way Forrest Gump could understand them.
How did they do? Despite the tips, several presenters were challenged to finish their story in a minute; some never told a story. Others focused too much on the data (geeky details), made an advertising pitch or touted their credentials about other media (NY Times, USA Today) that featured their start-up. One punchline came from Eric of INC.: “If you’ve already told me you’ve been covered by other top news media, it’s not worth it for us to cover you.”
So, in addition to the first three tips, here is the panel’s collective tips of the trade on what a start-up needs to do to be featured in top global media:
4) Give a real life example of how someone benefited from your service rather than giving a sales pitch.
5) Explain how your company makes money, how it monetizes the service from an investor’s view.
6) Describe the broader vision of the company: What’s next? What is your road map for the future?
7) Don’t mention other media that has featured your story or company.
8) Share what your funding has been so far – especially if it’s VC-backed.
9) Briefly mention the credentials of the founder(s): What makes you the best fit to launch the business?
10) Explain why you chose to zoom in on this one start-up versus all the other options possible.
11) What would other start-up CEOs (who are reading the article) want to know that could benefit them? (e.g., Does it provide a unique business model, delivery method, or way to win customers?)
12) How would it affect society or the way business is being done?