Moneyball approach to getting covered by TechCrunch

A question we hear a lot from startups we encounter is how they can featured in TechCrunch.

There is no surprise there. For many people working in technology businesses around the world, TechCrunch has a reputation that rivals the bible. It has more than 13 million followers on social media from the massed ranks of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investors, startup fans, developers, and business-decision makers around the globe.

Because TechCrunch is so big and so popular, it is often the first port of call for PR people with stories to tell from the biggest and most prominent technology companies in the world, as well as thousands upon thousands of smaller players and startups. You have to work hard to cut through that noise.

Now, we’re not about to give you chapter and verse on how to pitch TechCrunch. Good people far better qualified than I have already provided that guidance...

What we will say, however, is that if you really want to get covered there you should start by reading it religiously, learning more about the kind of stories it likes to cover and identifying the writers that are most interested in companies like yours.

The moneyball bit

This month we’ve done a little bit of research to provide a snapshot into the kind of stories that get covered in TechCrunch. 

We found that most stories published on the site (certainly on the days we looked at) are about major players, generally launching new services or bringing out additional functionality for existing ones. Don’t let that deter you though, new startups with bright ideas do get covered, often at the point at which they’ve just completed a fundraising round.

Consider this:

  • 53% of stories published on TechCrunch were about major players (Amazon, Adobe, ARM, Facebook, Twitter, Tesla, etc.)
  • 27% were about new services and functionality from those major players
  • 12% were about fundraising and investment (mostly in startups)
  • 9% were about government action around technology issues
  • 7% were about about people getting hired or fired (by major players)
  • 3% were about company acquisitions

So, what does that mean for startups wanting to get in TechCrunch?

  • Approach them at the right time: Maximise your chances of getting covered by pitching them when you’ve just raised a significant amount of money, especially if you’ve been backed by a well known VC
  • Link yourself with a major player: Provide them with details of a partnership, a deal, a significant hire. Alternatively, you could position yourself as a serious competitive threat to one of the big boyrs
  • Be genuinely different or better: TechCrunch - like all media outlets - wants to cover stories that interest their readers. Work hard on your story until it is captivating
    • Be revolutionary: show how you are creating major change in your industry, unlocking new markets and making a big difference
    • And/or be better: if you are evolutionarily, make sure you offer some genuine improvements in how things are done, and find proof to back your claims up
(These pointers build on the advice of the TechCrunch writers we’ve linked to above, make sure you read those too.)