Anna O'Hare
Published on May 19, 2016
The RISE Startup Series offers weekly tips for startups. Check back every week leading up to RISE for a fresh instalment. Last week we shared tips from investors. This week, with two weeks to go, we hosted a Google Hangout with journalist Rahil Bhagat to find out how startups can get a bit of attention from the media. Read on to hear what he had to say. RISE is fast approaching – it’s less than two weeks away! That means it’s less than two weeks until Hong Kong is full of both journalists looking to get their next scoop and eager startups. Now is the time to get your story straight so you can get your startup’s name out there. We’re here to help. We teamed up with Rahil Bhagat, a journalist who contributes to the likes of CNET and Forbes to give you an insight into how to hack the media at an event like RISE. Mike Harvey, Head of Comms here at RISE, interviewed Rahil. Check out their chat in the video below, or read on for the highlights.

Understand your message

Before the conference, make sure you know your angle. “Take a step back and crystalise your thoughts,” says Rahil. Think about what you’re doing that the media would be interested in. Then, Rahil recommends writing down notes or drafting up press releases, so you go to the conference with a clear understanding of what your story is. This will help you tell your story as succinctly as possible.

Know your journalist

“Don’t just spam journalists, don’t go hunting for everybody,” says Rahil. Find out which journalists are coming to the event and take note of the ones who work in your industry or write about startups like yours. Rahil explains that journalists specialise in one or two industries or topics, called “beats”. For him, it’s consumer tech and entrepreneurship. Use our app to search for journalists who write about your industry and introduce yourself.

Do what you’re there to do

“It’s almost like a courtship, finding the journalist,” says Rahil. You can’t just grab a journalist and bombard them with information. Instead, focus on creating a buzz around your stall – showcasing your product to investors and attendees. Do this, and you’ll have no shortage of media attention. “Trust me, if I see a crowd around your booth, I guarantee you I will come and check you out.” Learn from Rahil’s tips and your startup will be gracing front covers in no time. Good luck!