Launching a startup takes more effort than most founders think. Founders are often convinced that because their product/service is so compelling, that it will be a cinch to get attention once the product/service is ready for prime time. In the meantime, it makes sense to hunker down in the stealth mode bunker until the company is ready to launch. Then, when the appointed day comes, you hire a PR firm, release a press release and wait for all the interviews to roll in. If only it were that simple. A few facts of life….
Your product/service is not as interesting to most folks as you think. There are lots of new products and services being released daily; reporters, analysts, even bloggers are constantly being pummeled with exciting new announcements. Yours probably doesn’t sound that different to them.
The amount of ground work to get your messaging to the point where it resonates with the market is much more than you think. Often, announcements are so vague as to be completely indistinguishable from many others.
The PR firm you hire (if you actually hire one) will usually know who to contact, but they won’t be able to tell you what to say. You have to come prepared – and then they can help you. I have seen countless companies make this mistake, thinking the PR “monkeys” have it all figured out.
Even if you do get interviews, you will probably get far less coverage than you expect – unless you have already successfully sold your last startup, the amount of press you can expect is far less than most anticipate. Also, without a brand name customer who is willing to be quoted, that amount of press goes down even farther.
So what can you do to have a successful launch? More on that next time.