Vertical Media: Gaining Targeted International Exposure For Your Start Up
For most start-ups, the challenge of gaining international exposure can seem daunting.
However, if you think about it, every technology sector comes ready made with its very own gateway to international exposure. Pretty much every tech sector is served by its own ‘vertical’ media: media with a sole technology or market focus - and with an international reach. And they are interested in hearing from you.
There are 2 key steps in engaging with your vertical media: firstly identifying the correct publications, writers and editors you need to target, and secondly pitching them with newsworthy, compelling stories and other relevant content.
So how do you identify who your target journalists should be? The first thing I always do when I start working with a technology company is to ask two questions: what magazines, websites or newsletters do the ceo and other team heads read on a regular basis to find their market ‘news’; and what companies do they consider as their closest ‘direct’ competitors? The reason behind these questions is simple – to identify target key publications and their writers and editors. Every ceo I have ever worked with has been extremely media savvy – so they have a wealth of pr market knowledge to impart to someone like me. Additionally, checking out your competitors’ ‘news’ page can be very revealing – seeing how the competition wants to portray themselves, and where.
The second thing is to identify appropriate ‘content’ to communicate. Generally speaking, this can be divided into ‘news’ (press releases, to be used sparingly – only for company ‘milestone’ events like new products, key hires, funding etc.), and ‘features’ (using features lists, pitching story ideas, opinions etc.). When trying to judge what will make good content, try to be dispassionate – ask yourself whether or not you would read it if it was about another company. And there is nothing more dispiriting for a pr than trying to get non-news, or an opinion piece that is little better than an ad, into a reputable trade magazine. Editors will simply see through it.
Editors are interested in genuine trade news. And properly communicated to the right people, your content can gain good coverage for you and your company in your targeted international markets.