DIY PR Tips for Tech Startups

Lauren Winer

For many tech startups, hiring a PR firm off the bat is out of the question. In a company’s early stages, PR is seen as an unnecessary expense, but that doesn’t mean these companies should let press opportunities pass them by.

So before your startup is ready and able to hire a top PR firm, here are a few DIY PR tips that can help generate some buzz.

1. Social Media

I know I don’t have to tell you how important it is to have accounts on all the major social media channels, but the key is how to utilize them. Social media, particularly twitter, is a great way to engage with target editors. Start by following them and engaging with their posts.  If an editor shares an article relevant to your industry or company, retweet with a personalized comment. You can also share articles or stats they might be interested in to get on their radar. LinkedIn also provides plenty of opportunity to get your name out there and join the conversation. Comment on discussion board posts, share industry articles, and more. The key with social media is to engage as much as possible!

2. Write a blog

Having a blog on your website and posting regularly is a simple way to make a big impact. Use these posts to write about big industry trends and predictions rather than your company specifically. This will also help with establishing your executives as thought leaders. Writing a blog also provides plenty of content to share on your social media channels! As you get further along in your PR strategy, these blog posts will come in handy – you already have plenty of content to repurpose and contribute to publications!

3. Networking

In tech-focused cities like San Francisco and Boston, chatter about the newest and coolest startups travels like wildfire. Attend as many networking events as possible to get your name out there! Scan Facebook for local tech events, or use websites like Techmeme.com to help you find events in your area. Who knows, you might end up meeting a top tier editor or your next investor.

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4. Use a Newswire Service

About to go through a round of funding? Launching an updated version of your app? Just because you aren’t working with a PR firm does not mean you shouldn’t be putting out press releases. Draft your own release, and distribute it through a wire services like BusinessWire or MarketWired to reach key target publications. Although wire distribution most often results in reprints rather than unique articles, those reprints get your name in industry publications and boost SEO. If you’re new to writing press releases, check out PRWeb’s formatting tips.

5. HARO

Help a reporter out is a great tool that delivers editorial opportunities right to your inbox. HARO allows editors to post queries looking for sources to use in their stories, and there are always plenty of tech-focused questions! If you see a question you can help answer, simply pitch directly to the editor and hope you’re what they’re looking for. A pitch that takes just a few minutes can get your company name in a top-tier news site. Check out these tips from Cision on how to write a HARO pitch.

As your company grows, hiring a tech PR firm will go a long way, and get you coverage in those target publications you’ve been dreaming about.  But in your early stages, be sure to implement these DIY PR tips to start spreading the word.

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