I had the chance to attend a startupgrind talk with Techcrunch co-editor Eric Eldon. I though I would write down some notes and thoughts I got from the event as many people in the startup community are wondering how Techcrunch works and how they can approach them. And I’ll start with: Techcrunch employees are people too. Eldon shared the story of his attempts at startups life, and how he failed at it like so many others. The journey did lead him to writing gigs for VentureBeat, Inside Network and finally Techcrunch where he is now the co-editor. Now with this background (and often less) some would claim to be an authority on startups and what to do to be successful, but Eldon humbly declared he did not feel competent to tell people how to act to be successful at starting a company.
But he did give some practical tips on pitching Techcrunch (and other media):
- E-mails to tips@ is sent to all writers. Use it, it will be read.
- Tweets and fb mentions can lead to a story
- Don’t send a 2.000 word essay. 2 good paragraphs is enough.
- A good referral might help, anything else goes to @tips
- There needs to be a news value for them to cover you. Investment, launch, milestone passed at the least.
- Giving exclusives help, but are not mandatory.
In the end of the talk he did have a candid moment where he shared some thoughts on the value of getting press. A startup should think twice about spending too much effort on getting press. A Techcrunch spike in traffic/users can force you to spend a lot of time on scaling, handling support issues and getting feedback (and trolling) from people who are not your actual target group. So make sure you know what you are asking for.