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Startup PR: Getting Press on a Tight Budget

Tech journalist Erica Swallow shares her public relation strategies for getting press for your startup.
20 reviews
WHAT'S INSIDE
  • Lifetime access to 13 lectures and 4 quizzes
  • 2+ hours of high quality content
  • A community of 600+ students learning together!
TAUGHT BY
  • Erica Swallow Tech Journalist and Director of Community at Contently

    Erica Swallow is a New York City-based tech and lifestyle writer, owner of Southern Swallow Inc., and director of community at technology startup Contently. She contributes to ForbesMashable, and Entrepreneur, and her work has also appeared on CNNUSA TodayBusiness Insider, and American Express OPEN Forum, among other sites. Previously, Erica managed supported content at Mashable and before that, she helped develop and implement the social media marketing strategy for The New York Times

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Startup PR: Getting Press on a Tight Budget

Tech journalist Erica Swallow shares her public relation strategies for getting press for your startup.
20 reviews

Join tech journalist Erica Swallow for an overview of public relations strategies to interact with journalists and ultimately gain press for your startup.

You'll learn the basics of public relations strategies for startups, including how to engage and build relationships with the media, how to craft an amazing pitch, what "exclusive" and "embargo" mean, which assets are useful for journalists, what not to do, and a boatload more.

This class will also include a number of case studies from recent pitches that Erica has received from fledgling startups. She will show you a behind-the-scenes look at how she was pitched and how each pitch panned out.

After taking this course, students should understand the basics of public relations strategies and engaging the press and be on their way to coverage!

    • No previous public relations experience is required and all materials, tools, or services referenced will be supplied or easily found on the Internet.
    • Over 13 lectures and 2 hours of content!
    • In this course, you will learn how to perfect your startup's pitch and effectively communicate with the press.
    • By the end of the course, you will have the tools and knowledge needed to catch the attention of almost any journalist you're attempting to reach.
    • Entrepreneurs
    • Startup Employees
    • Public Relations Rookies

CURRICULUM

  • SECTION 1:
    INTRODUCTION
  • 1
    Introduction and What You'll Learn
    02:09
    An introduction to the course, what you'll learn, and your instructor, Erica Swallow.
  • SECTION 2:
    PERFECTING YOUR PITCH
  • 2
    Craft a Concise, Value-Driven Message
    03:56
    Before sending out any pitches, take time to craft your company’s message. Be able to explain your startup in one sentence so that anyone — techie or not — can understand its purpose. In this lesson, you'll learn how to craft a concise, value-driven message to explain what your startup does.
  • 3
    The One-Sentence Pitch
    05:05
    It's important that startups have a go-to, one-sentence pitch that explains what they do. Founder Institute's Adeo Ressi explains his "Madlibs for Pitching" approach for creating this one-sentence pitch. After watching this video, take some time to craft a one-sentence pitch for your startup, using this formula.
  • 4
    Know What's Newsworthy
    06:42
    Before you begin pitching your startup, stop to think about what is truly newsworthy, especially to the publications you’re targeting. A few starter ideas for newsworthy events: 
    1. The startup’s launch
    2. The launch of a new product, feature or offering
    3. The release of a compelling study or interesting data
    4. The company’s response to a current event
    5. News of a high profile partnership
    By only pitching newsworthy events, you're more likely to get a higher response rate from journalists and you'll be ever so closer to getting a coveted press mention. The goal here is not to inundate writers, but to supply them with interesting, relevant news when it arises.
  • 5
    Offer Up Unique Data
    01:52
    When pitching, include data and numbers that support your ideas when possible. In fact, an interesting study, infographic or other data sometimes warrants its own pitch. If your company has gathered proprietary information that tells a compelling story, pitch it.
  • 6
    Newsworthy Pitches
    3 questions
  • SECTION 3:
    COMMUNICATING WITH JOURNALISTS
  • 7
    Understand the Journalist's Coverage Area
    04:23
    Journalists are flooded with emails every day. If you want your messages to stand out, you'll need to approach them from a genuine place of common interest. It's all about making a connection. This lesson will introduce the concept of treating journalists like humans - an oddly little-known secret to dealing with the press - and arm you with some actionable tips for researching and getting to know journalists.
  • 8
    Know the Lingo
    02:36
    If you aren't well-versed on journalism lingo, there are at least two terms you should understand: exclusive and embargo.
  • 9
    Reporter Vocabulary
    4 questions
  • 10
    Send Awesome Emails
    08:24
    A majority of startup pitching occurs via email, so your job is to become an Inbox Maven. This lesson will provide you with some of my best practices for engaging with journalists via email.
  • 11
    Emailing Like a Pro
    4 questions
  • SECTION 4:
    FINDING JOURNALISTS
  • 12
    Tweet It Up
    02:58
    Because Twitter is a conversation-focused social network, many journalists seem to spend a lot of time on it, sharing and consuming news. The microblogging site is a great place to connect with writers and journalists of almost any stripe.
  • 13
    Behold the Power of Reverse Pitching
    02:05
    Instead of pitching reporters, let them pitch you. Sound like a dream? Nope. It's reality! Learn how you can benefit from reverse pitching.
  • 14
    Getting Press via Reverse Pitching
    3 questions
  • SECTION 5:
    CONCLUSION
  • 15
    Final Tips for Success
    01:42
    You're just about finished with the course! Here are my final works of wisdom as you get ready to rock the startup PR world.
  • 16
    10 Essential PR Tips for Startups
    7 pages
    As a final review for this course, read my article, "10 Essential PR Tips For Startups," as first seen on Mashable. It's a basic look at what you've learned in this course and should help tie everything together.
  • SECTION 6:
    MUST-WATCH PANEL
  • 17
    Demystifying PR for Startups
    01:14:56
    While this video may be a few years old, the commentary is as relevant as ever. This is one of my favorite panels on the subject of startup PR and is perhaps the most informative panel I've ever sat on or been a part of, featuring the following speakers (titles and bios circa 2010): 

    Press
    • Nick SaintReporter, Business Insider/SAI.
    • Erica SwallowAssistant Editor, Mashable.
    • Devindra HardawarLead Mobile Writer, VentureBeat.
    Startups
    • James Moran and Vin Vacanti, Founders at Yipit. Featured in over a dozen publications like The New York Times, Wired Magazine and national TV.
    • Ben Kessler, Director of Communications at SeatGeek. Ben previously worked at LaunchSquad PR, a boutique agency that serviced top-notch tech startups like SeetGeek.
    • Jordan Goldman, Founder at Unigo. Jordan is master of getting press and telling stories, with Uniqo covered in a New York Times Magazine expose and literally every other major outlet out there.
    Agency
    • Adam Isserlis, Director of Digital Media at Rubenstein Communications. Although Rubenstein is famous for their account with the New York Yankees, Adam's led the agency's digital efforts in recent years with key relationships throughout the industry.
    Moderator
    • Dave Ambroseco-organizer of Hackers and Founders, knows a thing or two about getting buzz. He started his career at Burson-Marsteller, one of the largest PR agencies throughout the world and then transitioned into his own startup journey with his college roommate to create Scoop St. - helping New Yorkers discover their city with unbeatable deals powered by group buying. Scoop St.'s been featured in The New York Times, Time as well as The Business Insider, among others.
    Raw and off-the-cuff, this video should be a real treat. Enjoy!

RATING

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AVERAGE RATING
NUMBER OF RATINGS
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REVIEWS

  • Pak Leung

    OH GOD. what's up with that cheesy beginning and ending music

  • Andrea Martins
    The Best Investment I've Made

    This could prove the best investment I've made in my startup. Thank you Erica, I loved it. Simple and to the point. Just brilliant.

  • Valerie Southall
    Valerie Southall

    very straightforward and easy to understand

  • Michael Price
    FANTASTIC!

    This course was clear, concise, and VERY informative!

  • Mike Blumenstein
    Very thorough, easy to follow, with great action plan

    Erica does a fantastic job of getting down to the nitty-gritty of what to-do and not to-do when getting ready to be your own PR advocate for your start-up. She uses real world examples of pitches that worked and did not work with her as a journalist, that was very helpful. Nobody just wants to see hypothetical pitches, we want to see the good, the bad and the ugly. She delivers! I highly, and I mean HIGHLY recommend this to anyone trying to get press for your start-up. Great job Erica! 5 stars and two enthusiastic thumbs-up!!

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