Tech startups turn to digital PR platform for media exposure

Early-stage expertise startups within the UK are utilizing digital public relations (PR) platform Newspage to assist enhance media visibility and safe additional funding.

Conceived in the course of the UK’s first nationwide lockdown, Newspage allows startups to create and disseminate their very own publicity with out the involvement of pricy PR businesses whose prices are prohibitive to many early-stage startups.

While Newspage is designed for use by any small companies working within the UK, the most recent vertical its founders are focusing on is expertise startups.

“I’ve worked with tons of tech startups that are bootstrapping and have hardly any cash – they come to see PR agencies, it’s £1,000 a day or even £500 a day, but its beyond their budget. Until they get an angel investment or VC [venture capital] backing, they’re off the radar,” stated co-founder Dominic Hiatt.

“You can have a really interesting story without £10m of VC money behind you. There are countless ways to grow and you could have a really interesting business model, or a really interesting new app, but if you have no angel funding, nobody’s interested in you – and that just doesn’t seem right.”

He added that the underlying idea of Newspage is to be a “port” for connecting media and information organisations with tales that might in any other case be troublesome to discover, and that for startups themselves the platform may help them increase cash by way of elevated visibility.

“We all know how it works – investors see you on the BCC, or in the Times, the Telegraph, and it creates credibility and helps…to raise money,” stated Hiatt.

While UK tech corporations noticed report ranges of funding in 2020 after collectively elevating $15bn, a good portion of this cash ($3.5bn, or round 20%) went to simply 10 scaleup corporations – eight of that are based mostly in London.

In March 2021, UK enterprise creation figures additionally confirmed {that a} new expertise enterprise was created each half an hour throughout 2020, with almost 19,500 registering in whole throughout the UK.

With a lot funding and funding tied up in only a handful of corporations, Newspage due to this fact permits much less established startups to generate publicity with out sacrificing already restricted sources.

According to Newspage consumer Ross Boyd, founding father of digital mortgage switching service Dashly, the platform permits corporations to create a profile web page as they’d when utilizing providers comparable to Facebook or LinkedIn.

“Just add your company information and experts, files and jpegs the media may find handy, and off you go. It’s all very intuitive,” stated Boyd, including that Dashly has seen “countless pieces of national and trade media coverage through this year” on account of utilizing Newspage.

“Newspage is a breath of fresh air when you think of the prices some PR agencies charge, and the retainers they tie you into. Having a Newspage doesn’t mean you may not need other PR support, but it’s a great base camp and a no-brainer,” he stated.

“Getting into the mainstream media is always great when it comes to securing investment. It adds instant credibility to your startup and can even impact your valuation.”

Mark Williams, founding father of London-based IT specialist Pensar, stated that his agency turned to Newspage after wanting for methods to enhance its digital footprint in beforehand unexplored methods comparable to PR.

“Traditional PR agencies come with big price tags and uncertain return on investment,” he stated. “As a result of being a Newspage user, we’ve had more coverage than we could have previously imagined and in publications and websites with audiences that we would never have been able to reach.”

Williams added that Pensar has beforehand tried PR businesses, however “gave up due to the cost and lack of return”.

Once a startup has created a profile, they’ll then add searchable tags for their areas of experience in order that the Newspage system can ship them an e-mail alert when a narrative associated to their fields breaks.

“If you’re an AI [artificial intelligence] tech startup, you would put AI as one of your areas of expertise and that way when a story relating to AI comes breaks, we will basically ping our database; if you’re tagged with AI, you will receive an email alert saying, ‘A journalist at the Times is looking for AI experts to comment on X, Y and Z’,” stated Hiatt.

“For journalists, the idea over time is as we get volume, this will become a quite powerful tool because they can basically create highly targeted requests.”

Although journalists at the moment have to go to Newspage straight to make requests, the agency is making a consumer interface to streamline the method and primarily make it “self-serve”.

While Newspage is a free service, and is anticipated to stay that means, startups can even pay a premium subscription of £4.99 a month, which provides them entry to Newspage’s copy editors in addition to journalists to present suggestions on the tales they’re attempting to enhance.

Boyd stated the NewsScore function, which primarily tells corporations whether or not a narrative they’ve posted is “a goer with the media or a dud”, can even save startups some huge cash. “A standard PR agency will often tell you a story is a goer even if it’s not,” he stated.

Hiatt added that whereas the premium subscription is the principle means by which Newspage is monetising its providers, it’s predicting it to go the same means to LinkedIn, whereby “90-95% of people won’t subscribe” and simply use the free model.

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