Last week we had the opportunity to hear from top business and financial journalists at the New York Stock Exchange. It was the bi-annual Strategic Communications Group meeting of the National Venture Capital Association. This meeting of VC communications and investor relations professionals, hosted by the NYSE, was chock-full of interesting content and engaging panels, leaving us all with something to think about. After a great networking dinner hosted by our friends at AirPR the night before, we had a full slate of sessions, from regulatory and policy updates straight from the NVCA’s team on Capitol Hill to panels with limited partners, journalists, and content marketing experts. Here are some of the most salient points from the press panels at last week’s conference.

From “Meet the Press” Panel

Ben Veghte of NVCA mediated a panel of tech-focused journalists: Telis Demos (@telisdemos), IPO reporter at The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ); JJ Colao (@JJColao), entrepreneur & startups reporter at Forbes; and Andrew Nusca (@editorialiste), senior technology editor at Fortune (@FortuneMagazine). As expected, different journalist prefer a different approach. Nusca prefers someone reaching out directly to gauge his needs/interest, while Colao and Demos are generally too busy to get on the phone and have a heart-to-heart with someone. Some of the takeaways from the panel:

  • All three journalists: It’s not that we’re not interested in your story, it’s that we don’t have time to write about it. We have so much coming at us that we can only cover so much. Sometimes, often times, it’s a matter of bandwidth.
  • Colao:  Act like a real human being – not a PR flack. Have context and empathy for what a reporter’s day looks like. Be sure to follow up, but don’t pester – there’s a fine line separating the two.

  • Nusca: The best PR relationships call him and try to understand what he is looking for, and send him very specific, targeted pitches/information.

  • Telis: Internal PR reporting is good. PR people aren’t always in the information flow or on top of portfolio companies. Stay on top of your partners internally and ask same questions a journalist would.

  • All three journalists: Know your audience. You can tell the same story more broadly if you tailor what you have to say to what readers are most interested in learning and are capable of digesting. Are you trying to reach a general audience or wonky, specific target? Your language/terminology will change.


From “Content is King” Panel:

Laura Cruz (@LauraCruz) of Tenor sat down with Kimberly Weisul (@Weisul), senior editor at Inc. Magazine and discussed how the publication views contributed content.

  • There is a lot of back-end work that goes into setting up a contributor, so you need to commit to regularly contributing. One-off’s are not worth it for publications like Inc.

  • In pitching an editor, differentiate between evergreen and newsy stories – it helps them to manage your expectations and run their publication.

Fast Company Article:

Tenor partner, Matthew Stotts, has a new article at Fast Company on the crowdfunding phenomenon and how startups can take advantage of this alternative means of capital raising. Matthew was inspired by the story of Eone Watches who wanted to build a watch for the blind after meeting Lt. Bradley Snyder. Lt. Snyder lost his sight completely from an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan as a bomb defuser. Eone named their first watch The Bradley and were able to research, fund, build and ship product from fund raised on Kickstarter. Read more about it here.