Startup PR: Getting Press on a Tight Budget
4.3 (78 ratings)
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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.
4.3 (78 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,040 students enrolled
Created by Erica Swallow
Last updated 11/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $35 Discount: 71% off
5 hours left at this price!
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  • 37 mins on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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.
View Curriculum
  • No previous public relations experience is required and all materials, tools, or services referenced will be supplied or easily found on the Internet.

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!

Who is the target audience?
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Startup Employees
  • Public Relations Rookies
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Curriculum For This Course
1 Lecture 02:09
An introduction to the course, what you'll learn, and your instructor, Erica Swallow.
Preview 02:09
4 Lectures 12:47
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.
Preview 03:56

It's important that startups have a go-to, one-sentence pitch that explains what they do. In this lesson, you'll learn how to write your company's one-sentence pitch.

The One-Sentence Pitch

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.
Preview 06:42

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.
Offer Up Unique Data

This quiz will test your knowledge on what defines a newsworthy event that's relevant for pitching. Good luck!
Newsworthy Pitches
3 questions
3 Lectures 15:23
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.
Understand the Journalist's Coverage Area

If you aren't well-versed on journalism lingo, there are at least two terms you should understand: exclusive and embargo.
Know the Lingo

This quiz will test your knowledge of the vocabulary you may encounter while communicating with journalists. Good luck!
Reporter Vocabulary
4 questions

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.
Send Awesome Emails

This quiz will test your knowledge on how to best get a journalist's attention via email. Good luck!

Emailing Like a Pro
4 questions
2 Lectures 05:03
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.
Tweet It Up

Instead of pitching reporters, let them pitch you. Sound like a dream? Nope. It's reality! Learn how you can benefit from reverse pitching.
Behold the Power of Reverse Pitching

This quiz will test your knowledge on the basics of getting press via reverse pitching. Good luck!
Getting Press via Reverse Pitching
3 questions
2 Lectures 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.
Final Tips for Success

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.
10 Essential PR Tips for Startups
7 pages
1 Lecture 01:20
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): 

  • Nick SaintReporter, Business Insider/SAI.
  • Erica SwallowAssistant Editor, Mashable.
  • Devindra HardawarLead Mobile Writer, VentureBeat.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!

Demystifying PR for Startups
About the Instructor
Erica Swallow
4.3 Average rating
78 Reviews
1,040 Students
1 Course
Tech journalist and startup marketer

Erica Swallow is a status quo wrecker and technology entrepreneur. Her thoughts have been published in Forbes, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal, among others, and she has been identified as an international thought-leader, as well, having spoken about her work at industry-shaping conferences, including SXSW, Web Summit, and WOMMA Summit.

Erica previously served as the director of community for tech startup Contently, where she managed online and offline community building. She also previously managed the highly successful supported content program for tech news site Mashable and assisted in developing and implementing the social media marketing strategy for The New York Times. Beyond her roles at these organizations, Erica has worked on a number of high-energy projects with teams at TechStars, WeHostels, Saatchi & Saatchi, and New York University, and is the co-founder of peer-to-peer delivery app, Deliverish.

Erica will soon hold an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management (expected June 2015) and holds a B.S. in marketing and international business from New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. She is passionate about the future of education and work and will soon be embarking on the next chapter of her life: Solving America's biggest challenge… it's education system.