PR can have an important role in an equity crowdfunding round, helping you reach your funding target. And not only that. As we discussed in the article The benefits of an equity crowdfunding campaign, if we think strategically, this can be a great opportunity to increase the awareness of your brand and can be part of a broader marketing strategy,
Unfortunately, though, alternative finance is no longer news by itself. we’ll need to find an angle to make your campaign newsworthy. Here are some tips to give you an edge on the PR game.
Tips for PR for equity crowdfunding
- Do your research. Which journalists and outlets are writing about your industry? Think outside the box.
- Personalise your messages to the press. Blanket emails do not work!
- Build a relationship with the journalist before you even need them to talk about your campaign.
- One way to do so is through op-ed opportunities. The media love controversial views – how does your product or service challenge the status quo?
- Think about the news agenda. What is topical at this moment? How does your startup help or address the issue?
- What you might think it’s newsworthy might not catch the journalists attention. Try asking some friends before sending a press release.
- Use a human voice, aligned to your brand archetype.
- Journalists are busy people. They want you to facilitate their job. Build a press or media kit with photos of the founder, the product or service and snippets that can be re-used in many articles. Use the template below to help them write their articles.
- Use strategically the natural milestones of your equity crowdfunding campaign. Your private and public parts of the campaign, if you go on overfunding, if you’re going to cut the campaign short because you’re reaching the limit you’d like to raise, etc.
- Finally, a word of caution: do not count just on PR to get you to your funding objective of your equity crowdfunding campaign. It can be a great addition to your tactics, but it shouldn’t be your main strategic pillar for your round.
A simple template for a press release
Journalists want a story. Make yours interesting and unique. This means a catchy headline, an announcement, new data or a new trend, growth figures, a quote or interview and a call to action. The typical structure of a well-crafted press release would be as follows:
- Title: A headline for your press release: “Something (or someone) does (or experiences or announces) something new”
- Lead with some bullet points (3 is a good number) summarising the story.
- In your first paragraph, you should include data or news hooks. Include also a date and location when opening your first sentence. Discuss the larger mission of the announcement. You want to hook the journalists before they delete your mail!
- In the second paragraph, go deeper on the specifics of your product or announcement. Highlight your Unique Selling Points and differentiators without losing focus.
- In the third paragraph, you can include a quote from your CEO or a business co-founder, explaining the announcement. Journalists love quotes, so make it easy for them. They’re also a great way to get your key message included word for word in the article. Italicise the quotes in order to stand out.
- In the fourth paragraph, you can bring in trends and stats to explain why your announcement is relevant to the larger industry and the community that your business is a part of. Ideally, this will include at least one data point (for example, how large the industry is).
- In the fifth paragraph, wrap up with a final quote from your CEO or founder or an influential brand ambassador. This could be a third-party research company, a board member. a customer or an investor.
- In the sixth paragraph, briefly sum up the history of your company and the background of its leaders to add credibility to the wider story. Add the proverbial ‘reasons to believe’: any previous award wins, status within the sector or brand insight. Include an URL to your equity crowdfunding campaign page.
- This ends the press release but don’t forget to add a contact name, number and email. You can also add one paragraph about company, standout achievements and key founder biographies
Wrapping it up
It’s really worth considering using PR for equity crowdfunding campaigns. Not only they can be instrumental to reach your objective but they will position you really well to increase your business and for potential future rounds.
If you need help in this aspect of your crowdfunding campaign, don’t hesitate to contact me.