47 Startup PR Tips from Top Tech Reporters




There's a lot of bad PR out there, and reporters have had enough.

If you follow them on social media (you should), you'll find no shortage of examples of PR gone bad. Mail-merged pitches with bad first names. Glaring errors in targeting. Overly clever attempts to connect.

It's enough to make you think maybe you shouldn't even bother reaching out – who wants the embarrassment?

But if you look closely through the much-deserved snark, you can learn some smart tips. Some are common sense, others are really insightful:

1.  Don't Be a Caveman.


2.  Avoid the obvious.


3.  Listen to reporters - they want to help you be better.

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4.  Don’t get clever - just the facts, ma’am.


5.  Don’t do drugs.


6.  Be honest and real.


7.  Know who you’re pitching.


8.  Don’t wait for proof that a reporter is interested in a story like yours.


9.  It’s not PR if you’re paying for it.


10.  Reporters don’t sign NDAs.


11.  You’re not as funny as you hope you are.


12.  Be confident.


13.  Don’t invade personal space.


14.  You having a relationship with a reporter doesn’t mean your colleagues do.


15.  Don’t be ridiculous.


16.  Snarky advice can be good advice.


17.  He just may not be that into you.


18.  Self-serving news isn’t super compelling.


19.  KISS (Keep It Short, Stupid).


20.  If you target right, you don’t need to tell them why you’re pitching them, they’ll know.


21.  Beat reporters can smell BS in a split second.


22.  Don’t do this.


23.  Don’t replace simple words with jargon.


24.  You can pitch women, PoC and other underrepresented folks, without talking demographics.


25.  Take a break sometimes!


26.  Know the rules.


27.  Have a timely reason to reach out.


28.  Customizing is cool, but you have to get it right.


29.  It doesn’t take magic to find a reporter.


30.  A “no” ends a discussion.


31.  Sometimes a nice conversation with a reporter is enough, for now.


32.  Don’t abuse reporters because your client is breathing down your neck.


33.  THINK OF THE story YOUR WOULD hate to see your competitor get & Pitch it for yourself.


34.  The point of the embargo is to give the reporter time to report.


35.  Creativity is ok.


36.  For the love of god, don’t mail merge.


37.  A good article is like a good tomato. It’ll be ready when it’s ready.


38.  Even with research, that 99.9% number may not move far.




40.  Don’t be TOO cute.


41.  Don’t blow off reporters until you “need” them.


42.  Take time to craft your story.


43.  A picture’s worth a thousand words: Don’t shortchange yourself with crappy imagery.


44.  Put some soul into it.


45.  Leaders don’t say they’re leading.




47.  The reporter probably didn’t write that headline you hated (THREAD).