Congratulations! You’ve just secured funding for your European startup. A funding of any size is a major milestone and deserves to be celebrated.
But don’t get out the champagne just yet. If you want to maximize news coverage and solidify your credibility in the industry, now is the time to write a press release about your startup funding announcement.
A press release is a standard component of any PR campaign, but it’s especially critical in boosting the success of a funding announcement.
When it’s time for your European startup to craft a press release around your recent funding, keep in mind these key elements.
Gather information from startup leaders
Before you start writing, it would help if you knew exactly what to say. Who better to consult than the startup founders and leaders themselves? Startup executives know the business inside and out and will help provide critical talking points and key messaging for the release.
When determining the best talking points, keep in mind what reporters will want to know about the funding and the founder. A few key elements to include are the founder’s journey, metrics that demonstrate the startup’s growth, what ultimately led to the VC investment, and how your business plans to use the funds for future growth in Europe and beyond.
Another element to include in your press release are quotes from the founders or startup leaders. Unless reporters are interviewing founders themselves, these quotes will be crucial for reporters when they share the news of the announcement. You can get these quotes during the same conversations about the release’s talking points and framework. In addition to comments about the investment itself, be sure to include quotes about the core values of the European startup. This press release is your startup’s chance to increase brand awareness, so it’s important that your company’s mission is included.
Get facts on key investors
You may have raised the cash, but the VC firms are the ones who invested it in you. Mention both the funding amount and the players involved early on in the press release to catch a reporter’s attention and increase the likeness they will pick up your story.
Don’t forget to list every VC firm out with their respective levels of funding. It’s crucial this part of your release is clear and accurate. If information is misstated or misinterpreted, it will reflect poorly back on your startup.
Similar to a quote from the founders, getting a quote from the lead VC firm will help boost the impact of the press release. Quotes about why the VC firm chose to invest can build credibility of the funding.
Put thought into the headline
The first thing people will see when they look at your press release is the headline. So it’s important that this element will draw readers in while also informing them of what the announcement is about.
Keep the headline short and sweet. Just a few words should sum up the main points: who and what. Elements to include in the headline are the startup’s name, the amount of funding, and active verbs. Writing the headline first can help to give the direction to the release. But remember, a first draft is almost never a final draft and you may have to go back and refine it to be more effective.
If you feel unsure about the effectiveness of your headline, ask a colleague. Share it with your marketing or communications team to see if the intended message is coming across.
Write an effective intro
In the introductory paragraph, be careful not to overshare. Some inexperienced writers will cram all the information in the first paragraph which then defeats the need to read the rest of the press release. The key is to keep the introduction brief with just enough information to keep the journalist interested in learning more. Good things to touch on are the funding amount, what kind of funding it was (e.g., a Series A if filed in the U.S.), a brief description of your startup, your startup’s key offering, and which VC firm was the lead investor. Each talking point you touch on in the initial paragraph can be elaborated on later.
It has to be measurable
Announcing the funding may be the overall purpose of this press release, but just like any PR activity, brand awareness, website traffic, and media coverage are also top of mind. In order to determine if your release was successful at meeting these goals, it needs to be measurable.
A simple thing your European startup can do to make your press release measurable is adding a link to your website’s homepage or a link to a landing page that speaks to a specific aspect of your offering. Adding a link or two will ensure the impact on inbound clicks and will allow you to track the results.
Include marketing collateral
To give your release that extra special touch, be sure to include supporting collateral, such as images. Visuals are key to making an announcement stand out in a reporter’s saturated inbox.
Visual collateral could be images of the founders, the product, or anything else that relevant to the funding news. Just make sure the images are accessible in either a secure, dedicated folder in the cloud or in a press room on your startup’s website. If a reporter wants to use the photo you can either point them to the folder and let them know you can provide more on request.
Provide contact information
One of the most important but commonly overlooked elements of a press release is the contact information. Don’t forget to provide a name, phone number and email so reporters will know who and how to contact if they want to cover your European startup’s news. The person of contact could be either a key member of your team or a representative of the PR firm you hired to help with the announcement. Journalists get sent hundreds of pitches a day. By making all the information accessible and easy for them, you raise your chances of getting your European startup’s big news covered in the media.
About Savannah Burns: Savannah is a Business Development Associate for Swyft, which is a tech PR firm in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing and PR agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft recently opened a satellite office where it offers tech PR in San Francisco. Swyft was also listed as one of the top tech PR agencies in Texas by the B2B services review site, Clutch.co.