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  • Amil Sawant

The Guide To Avoiding PR Scams And Getting Featured on TechCrunch

From Startup To TechCrunch Feature: The Ultimate Guide On How To Get Noticed And Avoid PR Scams


Are you a startup founder or an entrepreneur with a burning desire to see your company featured on TechCrunch, Forbes, and other major publications? Well, you're not alone. Many aspiring entrepreneurs share the same goal, but the question remains: How to get TechCrunch to write about you and your company? And most importantly, how can you avoid falling prey to scams from marketing agencies that promise to get you coverage but ultimately leave you empty-handed? In this ultimate guide, we'll help you separate the wheat from the chaff and make informed decisions to help you achieve your goal of getting featured on TechCrunch and other major publications.


Lessons Learned: How Our Experience Can Help You

As an entrepreneur, I understand how challenging it is to get noticed by prominent publications like TechCrunch, Forbes, WSJ, etc. Along with my co-founders, I've spent years developing PR strategies and helping startups grow. During these years, we have learned what it takes to succeed in this cutthroat industry.


We've seen the fake promises and the shortcuts that simply don't work, and we've also seen the strategies that lead to real, sustainable success. And that's why we've put together this guide - to share our knowledge and help other entrepreneurs avoid the pitfalls and position themselves for TechCrunch and other major publications. We want to give you the inside scoop and the best practices we've learned over the years so you can reach your goals and write your success story.





The Temptation Of Cheap Rates And Money-Back Guarantees: Avoiding The Scams


Sorting through the noise of cold emails and solicitations from various agencies claiming to get you featured is one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face when trying to get coverage in major publications. It's not uncommon for entrepreneurs to receive emails promising to get them coverage on TechCrunch, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and other major publications. However, it is difficult to know which of these claims are genuine and which are simply scams.


Some agencies offer rates that are cheaper compared to the industry leaders, and they might also offer a money-back guarantee, which can be very tempting for startups with limited budgets. After all, what's the harm in trying when you have a money-back guarantee, right? Unfortunately, this is where many entrepreneurs fall into the trap. They think they are getting a good deal, but the truth is that some of these agencies often lack the experience, resources, and connections needed to get you the coverage you want.


They may not have exclusive access to journalists and editors at TechCrunch and other publications, and they may not be able to deliver the results they promise. Even if you get a feature, it may not be the kind of high-quality, high-visibility coverage you were hoping for. And it is critical to know that no agency can guarantee organic coverage in any major publications. It all depends on the story, the timing, and the interest of the publications.



What Agencies Are Doing Behind The Scenes


Most of these agencies use cold emails to get coverage, just like the ones they used to grab your attention. However, this time the audience is different. It's the journalists who are flooded with hundreds of email pitches every day. It's a cut-throat competition, and only the most compelling and well-crafted pitches will stand out. So, it's crucial to understand that getting featured on TechCrunch and other publications is not as simple as paying an agency to do it for you. It takes a combination of strategy, timing, and effort to make it happen.


Another challenge that entrepreneurs may face is the lack of transparency and communication. Some agencies may not provide regular updates on the progress of your campaign, or they may not be open to discussing changes or adjustments to their strategy. This is because they don't have any updates or are overloaded with work. Another common practice is that some agencies may use interns or low-paid employees to handle a client's account to save costs. These employees may not have the experience or knowledge needed to create effective PR strategies and may not be able to deliver the results that you're looking for.


Furthermore, some agencies may also promise you a dedicated account manager, but in reality, your account may be passed around from person to person, making it difficult to build a strong, cohesive PR strategy. Overall, these bad practices will lead to a lack of results and a bad experience for entrepreneurs.



The Unavoidable Price of Making Wrong Decisions


A startup or entrepreneur may have a terrible experience if an agency fails to deliver on its promises. It may not only result in a financial loss but also be a setback in terms of time and energy. Another stress is the refund-chasing process. Some agencies may be unresponsive or simply refuse to give you a refund, leaving you feeling like you have been scammed. In some cases, entrepreneurs can take legal action and file a lawsuit to get their money back; however, this can be a time-consuming and costly process.


While choosing an agency, it is critical to be alert to avoid falling victim to scams. Researching the agency, checking for client testimonials, checking for industry recognition, and asking for references are some ways to check credibility. Client testimonials and reviews can be a valuable resource when evaluating an agency, but it's essential to know that fake reviews and testimonials exist in this world. By being cautious and well-informed, you can minimize the risks and trauma associated with working with an unreliable agency.



How To Spot A Substandard Marketing Agency?


We are trying to make big in this highly competitive world where everyone claims to be the best, but not everyone lives up to their promises. So, how can you spot a substandard marketing agency?

  • One red flag is if they struggle to answer basic questions about their business, such as the cost of serving one customer and the customer's retention period.

  • If an agency can't provide a clear understanding of its costs or can't give you a straight answer about retention, it may be time to move on.

  • Similarly, if they can't tell you their average retention period or the number of their customers, it might be a sign that they're not very good at keeping clients.

  • An agency that promises big returns without any real evidence to back it up is another warning sign.

  • A good agency should be able to give you a realistic sense of what kind of results you can expect from working with them, based on their track record and industry benchmarks.


Now, Let's Address The Most Critical Aspect: How To Get TechCrunch To Write About You


When it comes to getting coverage on TechCrunch and other major publications, it's important to remember that every major publication is looking for unique and compelling content. Whether it's funding news, a product launch, or a contributor article, the key to getting noticed is having a clear and unique story. Your strategy should be centered on showcasing what sets your startup apart from the competition and highlighting the distinctive value you bring to the industry.


Keep in mind that journalists are not your paid influencers who will say whatever you want them to. They write stories for their audience and will only write about your startup or product if it adds value to their readers. It's essential to understand that journalists are looking for stories that will help them build a loyal audience. And if you can present your startup or product in a way that aligns with their audience's interests and needs, you are more likely to get their attention and coverage. So, it's important to approach the journalists with an exclusive, unique, and compelling story that not only represents your startup or product but also addresses a problem or fills a need for their audience.


Look for patterns in the articles that are getting coverage and try to identify the common themes and trends that are driving the conversation in your industry. You may modify your pitch and messaging to fit those themes once you have a good idea of what the journalists find convincing. Additionally, having a well-crafted and compelling pitch, a strong media relations strategy, and a great story to tell is crucial to get the coverage you want.


If you wish to know more or need help developing a strategy, please reach out to us at info@themarkway.com or visit MarkWaySolutions. We will be happy to hop on a call and help you get featured in some of the major publications.

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