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Using media coverage to get startups in front of potential customers, partners, investors

Deanna Pogorelc

Launching a healthcare startup is exciting – albeit time-consuming, risky and stressful. But the struggles and victories that come along with building a company from the ground up are likely to be interesting to others, which makes entrepreneurs great candidates for local and national media coverage that will put their business in front of potential customers, partners or investors.

But, in the penny-pinching early stages of a company, there's not always money to hire a public relations or marketing professional to help spread the company's message. Colleen DeBaise, the special projects director for Entrepreneur magazine, explains that entrepreneurs can get great media coverage if they take the time to approach media outlets in the right way.

Media pitches should be kept to three minutes if done in person, and just as brief if done via email, according to DeBaise. Remember that writers and editors get anywhere from a few to hundreds of pitches a day, so grab their attention by focusing on what the company is doing that’s novel or interesting. “Wow us with at least one fascinating tidbit,” DeBaise says. “Think about what the headline of your story is.”

Entrepreneur looks for stories that provide practical lessons to other business owners, DeBaise says, so be sure to talk about innovative or unusual things your company does, or creative ways you’ve approached entrepreneurial challenges.

Even if there’s not a particularly good story to tell – which there probably is, if you ask an outsider what they find most interesting about your company – just being aware of these things could help get media coverage for FDA approvals, product launches or new hires.

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