When Protagonists Press For Coverage

Because I have been such a consistent contributor to TechCrunch for well over two years now, people often mistake me for a full-time journalist or reporter. When that happens, I chuckle a little bit because (1) it’s such a hard job and I’d fail miserably at it; and (2) because if I was a real reporter, people probably wouldn’t approach me. As a result, every week, without fail, a few people contact me trying to network or get advice related to “getting coverage” for their startup, investment fund, or whatever’s in between. I try to be helpful and offer my opinion (where appropriate), but usually I end up reciting a variant of this phrase: “All the effort you put into trying to orchestrate this, which is out of your control, will ultimately only end up making you feel good.” The press is supposed to “cover” their subjects, chase down leads, and, well, press. Oftentimes, however, it’s the actors who “press” for coverage from the press, oblivious to the fact that no one else is likely to read more than the headline, if at all. In the technology space, the best way to get covered, outside of celebrity funding and/or endorsements (which touch a different audience), is to build a product or service that everyone is using, especially the writers themselves. It sounds obvious. Specifically, press announcements about funding or trivial metrics are, at most, boiled down into tweets that sometimes go beyond the day’s chatter — though usually not. The same thing happens in funding — investors get “pitched” all the time and field requests for meetings through unnecessarily elaborate introduction schemes, but most investors write checks into companies they chase — not the ones that chase them. The same goes for coverage. The companies and products that do well get great coverage because the writers find them compelling and seek them out.