Last Wednesday, equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs and Het Financieele Dagblad’s “PR Your Startup” event brought together start-ups and entrepreneurs looking to create more buzz around their brands through engaging press. Around 40 people were in attendance for this first PR event for Seedrs, which included a talk from veteran Financieele Dagblad journalist Job Woudt.
The event kicked off with David Mozes, Seedrs’ Benelux regional manager, giving a brief overview of what the organisation does and noting that the event was “about us [Seedrs] giving help to the start-up community”. To this end, the evening included a crash course in PR by Louise Harvey, Seedrs’ senior press officer, a Q&A with Harvey and Job Woudt, and ended with a few brave souls testing their pitching skills.
During the introduction to PR, Harvey explained what PR is and why it is important and gave numerous tips on how start-ups can best approach journalists. Tips included:
- Always create narratives to pitch to journalists
- Consider why your story is interesting (use relatives and friends as sounding boards)
- Keep everything concise
- Always have material about your company on hand when speaking to media
- Journalists are busy, so make yourself available to talk whenever they can
- If you are having trouble finding something newsworthy about your start-up, look at what else is in the news and figure out where your material may fit.
Next, long-time journalist Job Woudt joined Harvey for a Q&A session where she asked him questions about his life as a journalist and how he likes to be approached with stories. The overwhelming takeaway was that the best way to get stories in media is building relationships with journalists and media. “Personal relationships are the most effective,” said Woudt, with Harvey seconding his opinion.
Riffing off the theme of personal contact, Harvey also mentioned that networking was key for start-ups and here, that Holland FinTech, was doing a “brilliant job” of providing networking spaces within the Dutch start-up scene.
Woudt also mentioned that the start-ups looking to link up with journalists should create their own articles to give to publications.
After the Q&A, Woudt and Harvey took questions from the audience, and then the floor was opened up to anyone who wanted to give a two-minute elevator pitch on their company. Three people gave lively pitches, and then the conclusion of the event was marked by drinks and pizza.
By Elliot Lyons, Research Analyst