With the Angel Forum coming up next week and New Ventures BC well underway, we’re starting to get contacted by a lot of bright-eyed bushy-tailed entrepreneurs looking to score some coverage. And that’s fantastic. Kinda.
Here’s the thing: it appears you guys can’t pitch to save your lives, never mind your business. So how do you get our attention? A few tips:
Get to the point: Irritable technology bloggers, like angel investors and venture capitalists, have much more glamorous things to be doing than hearing you recount your startup’s epic narrative as a one-man play performed in three acts. Less Shakespeare, more Coles’ Notes.
Communicate the essentials: Answer the key questions that anyone would have about your company – what problem do you solve, who needs that problem solved, why is it important to them that they solve the problem, and why are you different from other solutions out there? If you haven’t figured out how to do this in 30 seconds, what chance do we have?
Make our lives easy: We are, by our own admission, lazy people. Your chances of positive press are greatly increased if you provide something that we can cut, paste, and edit easily. Don’t make us think, don’t make us search. (Super Duper Secret Hint: Your email would really stand out if you included key links to the company’s web site and online demo screencasts, as well as a screenshot or company logo on a white background.)
And if you really want us to hold your hand, then fine – here’s a template you can use to address the first two points outlined above when describing your product:
[Product name] is a [type of product/product category] that delivers [statement of benefit] to [target customer]. Unlike [specific competitor/competitive category], [product name] provides [statement of differentiation].
Bottom line: we’re here to help, but we’re not really that enthusiastic about doing much work in the process.