Event Recap: StartupAlpha.com’s ‘Venture Cheers’

Last night we had the pleasure of hosting StartupAlpha.com’s ‘Venture Cheers’: Turning a Startup Founder into a CEO Spokesperson.  It was a great event and we had the opportunity to meet some very interesting people! Following a lovely cocktail hour and networking reception, Affect President Sandra Fathi kicked off the evening’s programming with media relations tips and best practices for startup founders looking to garner publicity for their burgeoning company.  Sandra then opened the floor up to John Laposky, business reporter and managing editor of TWICE and TWICE.com, and Amy Doyle, senior editorial producer for HLN (CNN Headline News), who offered guests advice on how to work with the media and secure press coverage.

Here are the key takeaways from last night’s presentations:

Sandra Fathi, President and Founder, Affect Strategies

  • Why should startups engage in media relations? 3rd party credibility, reinforces marketing initiatives and perpetual motion
  • Each media opp is an investment, a marketing opportunity, a strategic positioning exercise and a potential risk
  • Journalists are motivated by “the scoop”- you need to be the one to educate them and articulate what makes you unique
  • Before going to the media: understand your role, know who you are, have a great story with a human element
  • Identify the trends- how can you insert yourself into a trending story even if you aren’t a household name?
  • Media interview execution: achieve the balance of brevity vs. complexity and enthusiasm vs. Bravado

John Laposky, Managing Editor, TWICE

  • “It’s frustrating how many bad pitches I get…some people are horrible at telling their own story.”
  • “You might need to work on me for 6 months before I am interested”
  • News is news, but sometimes the story has to unfold…there’s a lot of missed opportunities because of that”
  • “I will not dismiss someone w/ no representation…meeting startups is the meet and potatoes of my business”
  • “Startups are the life blood of our industry…one mention can get picked up by 500 other websites”

Amy Doyle, Senior Editorial Producer, HLN

  • “I am not just dealing with the story angle…I need that golden spokesperson”
  • “75% of the people that pitch me have never watched my show”
  • “You’re not just being interviewed by the anchor- you have a whole audience listening”
  • “I need you to explain to me in simple terms why America needs your product”

Have any other tips or advice on the topic? Leave a comment below! You can also visit the Affect Twitter handle for all of the tweets from last night’s event: http://twitter.com/TeamAffect

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