Crunchbase News recently reported that global venture capital funding totaled more than $288 billion in the first half of 2021, up by approximately $110 billion versus the second half of 2020. When a marketing team plans a funding announcement, it’s important to remember the goal is more than simply earning media coverage, it’s demonstrating to customers, employees, partners and others the credibility a successful funding round brings to the company and its management team.
Based on announcing more than 100 funding rounds, here are a few tips to maximize the impact of a funding announcement.
Have a Pre-Funding and Post-Funding Announcement Plan
Marketers should not think about funding releases in a vacuum, but part of an ongoing plan of announcements that highlight the strengths of the company and the management team, demonstrating a steady stream of new customers, partners, marketing activities and capabilities, as well as funding.
Know What Funding Media Want—and Deliver
Each media and each editor with a media outlet have specific preferences for what information they want and how they want it. Know and honor these preferences.
Most media want the size of the current round, amount of total funding, company valuation and investment firm names. Ensure this basic information is in the headline and first paragraph to make it easy for media to learn the news.
Strategize on the amount the company is announcing. If the current raise is $10 million, but the company previously raised $6 million but never announced that—announce a raise of $16 million—but be sure to make clear the $16 million represents the total raise to date.
Tie the company to one or more hot industry trends and use statistics from analyst firms or other third-party influencers to demonstrate the strength of the trend and by association the potential of the company.
Have supporting materials ready in case media ask, this should include at a minimum: a high-res head and shoulders photo of the CEO, bios of the management team and a one-page backgrounder on the company. Make sure the website is up to date, as the announcement will create a spike in visits.
For Non-U.S. Companies—Determine Where to Optimize the News
Non-U.S. companies (and sometimes U.S. companies as well) have to decide in what region they want to optimize the timing of the announcement. If the company wants to optimize the announcement for the European market, 6:00 a.m. in, say, Berlin is 9:00 p.m. the previous day in San Francisco. Marketers will have to understand they may lose some U.S. coverage but there may be good reasons to optimize timing for Europe, such as the bulk of investors are located there or the company is issuing the announcement as part of the marketing strategy for a European trade show.
Start Contacting Media at Least Three Weeks in Advance
Our rule used to be two weeks but in the last few months, it’s become necessary to start media outreach three weeks in advance. And don’t forget to cast a wide net. Yes, there is a relatively small group of media that cover pure funding news, but there’s a much wider group of trade and business media that also cover funding. Before sending a draft press release to media prior to the announcement date, ensure they have agreed in writing to honor the embargo.
Expand the Story
Marketers should think beyond the pure news to maximize the impact of a funding announcement. This can include involving customers, investors, partners and others. As an example, when we announced our TripleBlind client’s initial funding last November, in addition to the press release, we:
- Created a video of the CEO discussing the benefits of TripleBlind’s data privacy technology over alternative solutions
- Drafted a Q&A with the managing director of Accenture Ventures, one of TripleBlind’s investors
- Secured quotes from all investors and posted them at top of the In the News page of the TripleBlind website
Encourage investors, partners and customers to share your news on their LinkedIn and other social media feeds. And, go a step further by asking VCs, partners and customer execs to share your news on their personal LinkedIn and other social media pages as well.
Does your company plan to announce funding in the near future? Would you like counsel from an agency that handles hundreds of funding and other announcements each year? Please contact UPRAISE to learn more.