Sales and marketing

How this startup used PR and the media to get noticed by investors

Catriona Pollard /

The one inevitable fact about all startups is that in order to grow they need capital, and unless you’re lucky enough to be self-funded, that capital must come from investors.

But getting the attention firstly and then the backing of investors when you’re unknown is not easy.

This was the case for new office space search engine startup JAGONAL. The founders had all the technical and business skills, but on launching JAGONAL to the market they needed to attract the attention of investors to help them continue to grow the business.

The JAGONAL team had previously tried some outdoor advertising while in beta with limited reach. So when it came time to fully launch the startup the founders were clever enough to use PR to launch with impact.

Not only did this inform the market of what JAGONAL had to offer, it also showcased its investment potential.

And it worked. Media stories for JAGONAL rolled in and investors soon started calling with interest, to a level that exceeded the expectations of the founders.

Here’s how you can learn from JAGONAL’s PR strategy to get your startup on the radar of potential investors.

A launch media release that packed a punch

As is often the case, we knew that the news of JAGONAL’s launch would likely not be enough to capture the attention of journalists hungry for a good scoop.

So we had to add in a newsworthy hook that would add some more interest to the news.

While we used several hooks, the central hook was the team that founded JAGONAL used to work for the dominant player in the industry – REA Group. This was interesting to the media because not only was the idea new, it involved some industry drama.

Interesting news angles to add layers to the story

In order to spread the news across different segments of media, it was necessary to ensure different angles were used to tailor the launch story to different industries.

For instance, to make the story interesting for HR media we created an angle around how to improve your office to give your business an edge in the war for talent.

Likewise, for different industry segments that would be interested in JAGONAL’s launch, we created tailored media angles to suit.

A clear message

If your goal is to attract potential investors then you need to make sure your messages speak clearly to them.

For JAGONAL, the founders really wanted to highlight the growth they had achieved so far, the potential for further growth, next stage plans and also the fact the next round of capital raising was about to commence.

These details were all cleverly woven into the launch media release and there was a focus on targeting media that investors read.

Good imagery

It’s a simple fact: stories with images get read more. By making sure there were great images on hand to make the story more interesting, helped to get the JAGONAL story seen by more readers, shared more on social media and get more traction.

The more that you can give a journalist a complete story, including images and interviews with experts, the easier it is to secure fantastic, positive media coverage for your startup.

The end result

The end result for JAGONAL was exceptional – loads of powerful positive media stories in print, online, podcasts and TV that investors and potential customers read, an explosion of traffic to the website and the phone ringing with interested investors.

Being part of a startup can be incredibly exciting and rewarding and if it all comes together and you attract great investment opportunities that help you grow, well that’s the Holy Grail.

But for this to happen you need to spread the word about your startup and its potential and the most powerful way of doing that is with PR.

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Catriona Pollard

Catriona Pollard is the founder and director of CP Communications and the author of From Unknown To Expert.

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