Positive PR coverage can help to build your healthtech startup’s reputation and can also attract the interest of investors. A cleverly put together PR campaign can elevate your business to the next level and help you experience tremendous growth – if the right approach is taken.
It’s important to remember that gaining PR coverage isn’t simply a trick to convince investors to give you money. It’s about establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field, positioning yourself as the expert. This goes beyond presenting a vision for your startup, which, while essential for early investment, isn’t enough to move forward to the next stage.
Is your story newsworthy?
Before pitching your story you will need to make sure that your story is newsworthy. You don’t want to waste a journalist’s time by offering an irrelevant story, so do your homework!
Here are some examples of stories you could pitch:
- Product releases – is your product new, the first in its field, the largest or the smallest?
- Partnerships – have you teamed up with a well-known partner?
- Fresh research – have you made a new discovery or are you setting an industry trend?
- Events – are you running an event or teaming up with a partner to host one?
Other angles to consider include:
- Conflict framing – can you portray the story as a battle between two competitors – perhaps the ‘David and Goliath’ approach?
- Is there a surprising or unusual twist to your story that could make it stand out?
- Timely – does your story tie-in with any big stories making the news elsewhere?
- Offering up spokespeople for Q&As and opinion pieces, positioning them as industry thought leaders.
- If you’re in the middle of trying to raise funds, highlighting previous investment can be one way of attracting more funding. Pitching it to the media as a success story can make you seem more appealing to investors.
Pitching is first and foremost about sales
When deciding who to pitch to, make sure you’ve done your research. Have a look at what’s been previously published, at the journalist’s social media profiles and then think about how you can tailor your story to the journalist’s requirements. Are they covering healthcare or healthtech? B2B or B2C? Do they specialise in medical devices or medical education? Make sure the publication is right.
Another factor to consider is that timing is key. Mondays can be busy for journalists, so a mid-week pitch often works better. First thing at 9am is a bit too early, around 10-11am is a better time, or after lunch. That being said, there are no hard and fast rules as it very much depends on the publication, when it goes to press and the story turnaround time. If you’re pitching a monthly publication, it will take longer to see your piece in print.
Here’s a simple process to follow when pitching:
- Start by sending a brief email, highlighting the main points in a clear and compelling fashion
- Make sure attachments are easy to download/hyperlinks work
- Do the journalist’s work for them: explain where you think your story will fit in the publication and why
- Follow up the next day and be prepared to re-pitch (journalists are busy and there’s a chance they won’t have seen your release)
- Don’t talk too much – have an elevator pitch ready and make it exciting!
- Be prepared to offer the story as an ‘exclusive’, e.g. they will have first publishing rights)
- Have an alternative option in your back pocket. If you have an additional idea or angle ready be prepared to offer that if they reject the original idea.
So you’ve achieved PR coverage for your healthtech startup! What now?
Once you’ve got your story out there do make the most of it. Every bit of coverage your have is validation that your company is a gamechanger in healthtech.
Steps to take to make the most of your publicity:
- Add the coverage to your media page/press toolkit
- Email internal and external stakeholders letting them know the news
- Share the story across social media networks (Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook)
- Ask employees and industry connections to share the piece to get more engagement and followers
- Track the impact of your PR and include the data in your investor presentations.
The right PR coverage can help to portray your healthtech startup in the best light, attract investors, customers and good employees. But before you start pitching, make sure that you have a plan and know what you want to achieve. Sometimes it’s better to wait for the right moment or for specialists with experience working with the media to advise you. In some cases it could be argued that all publicity is good publicity, but if you’re looking for investment it’s best to proceed with caution and take your time.