Getting Attention

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Mark Evans’ post about Do Canadian Startups Get Enough Attention? annoys me. It is not Mark, it is not Canadian startups, it is the assumption that Canadian media outlets should write about Canadian startups.

“But the fact is there are a lot of great startup stories that go unreported or receive a smidgen of the coverage they deserve. It is a situation that frustrates entrepreneurs, investors and people within the startup community who believe the spotlight should be burning a lot hotter.”

Let’s start by answering Mark’s implication that “startups stories go unreported or receive a smidgen of the coverage they deserve“. Bullshit! They don’t deserve coverage. They have to earn coverage. They are noise. And as an entrepreneur you need to learn how to rise above the noise and tell stories that the media want to share with their readers.We have many examples of Canadian startup success and failure stories that have managed to figure out how to tell media friendly stories. Sarah Prevette at Sprouter managed to become a media darling:

Why was Sarah Prevette so much more successful in getting press coverage for her startup than other entrepreneurs? Is she smarter? Does she have more hustle? Is her startup more successful? I challenge Mark’s assertion that Canadian startups deserve coverage. I think the first step is doing something worthy of coverage. And as entrepreneurs we need to understand the stories that media want to tell, and begin to hustle to take away time and space from the big players. Tim Ferriss told his story about getting on national television, From First TV to Dr. Oz: How to Get Local Media…Then National Media. You have to work at crafting a story, building relationships and being newsworthy. So rather than assume that all good startups deserve coverage, how about we as entrepreneurs go out an earn it. Aim higher. Make something newsworthy.

Resources for Getting Media and PR Coverage

  • PR Tips for Startups: How to Get and Keep Media Attention
  • Getting Press and Media Coverage for your Startup Company – Who needs a PR Firm?
  • Tips for Getting (Follow Up) Press Coverage for Your Startup
  • From First TV to Dr. Oz: How to Get Local Media…Then National Media
  • CanCon 3.0

    I was doing some evening reading I came across and interesting  thought on the intersection of social networks and content:

    Media is fast-becoming an important area for the social network. The news feed, long a place for friends to share personal photos and thoughts, is becoming more of a content discovery engine

    I’ve posited elsewhere on the role of content in the evolution of the Internet. In a nutshell, if Web 2.0 is the social web, then I respectfully submit for your consideration that Web 3.0 is the content web. What I mean by this isn’t that the Web 3.0 is about taking traditional content that has been available in traditional media (literature in books; movies on film; music on CDs) and putting them on the web, obviously we are well into that trend. What I’m referring to is entirely new forms of content that have yet to be created for the social web

    Then my thoughts drift to Canada and the potential behind Canadian start-ups. Canadians have always been innovators in content, even if that innovation didn’t happen at home. Note:

    So does all this bode well for Canadian content companies? As we think about national competitive differentiators, aspects of a country’s economy that sets it apart from the rest of the world- should we be thinking content?

    If Canadian start-ups could combine technology smarts and content smarts, could the result be a whole new class of content, the likes of which we haven’t seen yet?