News on funding rounds can help tech start-ups gain visibility and credibility when careful thought is put in the writing of the release, its distribution, and the promotion of results obtained.
There are exceptions to the predicament that start-ups do not have that much hard news to share with the media and one of those welcome exceptions is the accomplishment of a new funding round. Reaching out to the media when you have raised a considerable amount of funds, makes the funding – when considerable enough – newsworthy (see this article I wrote earlier on news value).
Typical communication objectives that can be achieved with any media outreach on a new funding round are
- increasing visibility with potential investors
- increasing visibility with potential clients
- increasing visibility with potential employees
- validation with existing investors
- validation with existing clients
- validation with existing team members
Press releases might have been declared dead many times already, but for hard news they remain very apt conduits of information. Let’s take a look at what goes into the press release of a tech start-up funding announcement.
Writing the funding news release
In a funding news release, tech start-ups will need to cover:
- how much was raised
- what funding stage (“series”) they are in
- who made the investment
- who the lead investor is
- how the money will be put to use
Added to that is of course information on the start-up company itself: to whom does it (plan to) provide what value?
A press release is not an essay where you build up gradually to the conclusion of your narrative but instead leads with the answers to the who, what, where, when, why and how in a summary deck. The title needs to be urgent and transactional ([company name] raises $X etc.) and the subtitle allows for an additional level of contextual information.
Quotes (from the company CEO and preferably also the main investor for the current funding round) add great value to the copy. Where the language of the main copy of the press release is and ought to be very factual, in a quote there is room for emotion and bold statements.
Speaking of language, calling yourself “innovative” or “disruptive” or – God forbid – a company that has acquired an “unfair advantage” over its competitors is a turn-off for most editors and their readers. Steer clear from tiresome tropes and stick to a lexicon that not self-promotional.
When writing the press release, the author should work from a message map where key messages are lined out, together with the proof points that support them (if you will expand in market A because of its potential, then put a dollar amount on how large that addressable market A is), and the aforementioned quotes.
Distributing the funding news release
A widespread misunderstanding exists about the usefulness of press wire services. Actually, I will even at times come across entrepreneurs who will not only think that wire services are the best way to distribute a funding announcement (or any other news) but are actually the only way to do so. The truth is that wire releases are neither necessary or useful, so there is no reason why you should not distribute your press release yourself (or have your PR agency do this for you).
Different sorts of media might care for your funding announcement. There are the broad tech media that cover funding news from tech companies in all sectors where some media will have room for interviews with founders and others will just stick to a short factual report on the transaction (this category makes for a long list in which you will find TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Fortune’s Term Sheet and Pitchbook). Then they are the media that cover funding and other corporate announcements in a specific industry vertical (fintech, martech, etc.). And finally, local business media might care to pick up the news, though often, for them, the story will be not so much the fundraising per se but the new chapter of growth for the local company and the drivers and consequences (employment, a new office, etc.) of that growth.
It is recommended that you make sure your press release does not only exist in email format but is also properly hosted. You can host it yourself in your newsroom on your website or have your PR agency host it for you (our own hosting solution for press releases looks like this).
Promoting the coverage of the funding news release
A final step that is oftentimes forgotten is the promotion of the media coverage on the news. When a valuable interview with a founder or the CEO of the company is published, why not share it with your (prospective) clients, investors, partners and employees?
Here are a few options for the promotion of premium editorial coverage:
- Link to the article in the newsroom
- Link to the article in email signatures
- Link to the article in your newsletter
- Use of the “featured in” media logo on your website
- Mention on the Intranet bulletin board
- Link to the article when pitching other corporate stories / thought leadership content to journalists
- Promoted tweets
Did you enjoy this piece on funding news releases for tech start-ups?
You might also like this article on the use of media logos on your website.
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