Rethink Commerce Blog

How Should Startups Approach ReadWriteWeb

Posted on July 23rd, 2009 by

ReadWriteWeb – Web technology blog

Bob Walsh’s new book, “The Web Startup Success Guide” has just been officially launched on Amazon. As promised in my previous post, here is another example of what you’ll find in his book after purchase. It’s a cool interview he made with Marshall Kirkpatrick, Lead Writer at  ReadWriteWeb, who gives advice to tech startups on approaching him with newsworthy information. Hope you’ll find it useful as well, here’s the interview:

Bob: What’s the right way for startups to approach you who want you to write about them? What’s the wrong way?
ReadWriteWeb - Web technology blog

Marshall: Sending an email to tips@readwriteweb.com at any time is appropriate. Sending your company’s blog or news release RSS feed is the best way to keep us in the loop. Otherwise, we like to get an e-mail three or four days before a news event. Send us info about what you’re doing, login access to see it, and contact info to reach out with any questions.

If we can get the full picture without a briefing (we’re pretty good at looking at startups), then that’s great. We don’t appreciate it when a company expects an hour of our time to ramble on the phone in order for us to find out what they are doing.

Bob: Do you prefer hearing from startup founders or PR people working for startups?

Marshall: People working for them, especially not salespeople. Talking to engineers is ideal. If we must talk to a CEO or salesperson, though, we’ll live.

Bob: How many startups do you hear about in a week? How do you decide what to write about?

Marshall: It’s hard to say, probably about 200. We’re looking for a news hook and an innovation hook. We’re much more interested in the tech of tech than in the business of tech.

Bob: What mistakes do startups make approaching news bloggers and for that matter regular trade/general reporters?

Marshall: Don’t send us an e-mail with a link to our competitors’ coverage of you—that drives us nuts. Also, tell us honestly what you are doing, quickly, and if we say no – accept that and come back later with something better suited for us.

Bob: Any advice for startup founders?

Marshall: Please give me really interesting stories about innovation so I can make us both look great. Try not to neglect your families, too. That’s just a bad thing to do.

Bob: What question should I ask that I haven’t?

Marshall: Q: Do you think this is a wildly disruptive time in technology that we’re living through? A: Yes I do, it’s very exciting. The possibilities are mindblowing, and the ISV community is really at the forefront of it. Keep up the great work out there!

I recommend also reading the success story of Balsamiq startup, influenced by Marshall Kirkpatrick. Share your stories and links about your startup pitching editors experience.

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Adriana Iordan

Sr. Director, Product Management

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