I was invited to speak at an Open Coffee Club Vilnius event today and apparently made into an expert of getting media’s attention :) I guess the above slide from my pitch deck is to blame…
Anyway, I talked a lot about getting attention from specialized media from your industry, but forgot to mention more “mainstream” media. The definition of mainstream varies depending on what your company does. For us something like TechCrunch is mainstream, for others it could be extremely specialized. In any case for quite a long time I maintained an opinion that we don’t care about mainstream media since our product is pretty niche and caring about mainstream is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. (thanks again, StackExchange)
But over time my opinion has changed. I still maintain that you should care about your industry’s media way more, but there are real benefits to being mentioned by the mainstream. Here are a few…
Not all of your potential clients are as into your industry as the top enthusiasts
Being deeply involved in something we surround ourselves with a bubble. We think that everyone who cares about Windows Phone development follows a #wpdev hashtag and, at the very least, reads WPCentral. Unfortunately not true. We’ve had numerous users telling us that they first heard about us from way more “mainstream” sources.
Quite often your potential partners and/or investors don’t come from the same industry specifically
I’ve recently received an email from a potential well known partner (who should remain nameless for now) who has nothing to do with Windows or Windows Phone specifically. The email started “I’ve come across your company multiple times…”. I can assure you this wasn’t in specialized media. And that is not the first and not the last case when I felt the value brought by mainstream media in this sense.
Even people who should read the industry blogs quite often don’t
It wasn’t a single isolated case when someone related to Windows Phone and working at Microsoft and/or Nokia responded to my introduction with something like “oh, yeah, I’ve read about you on Forbes”. My initial internal reaction is “dude! You should have heard about us from WPCentral or even partner directory in the Dev Center”, but I’m still happy they’ve heard about us even if I feel like it wasn’t from the right source (considering their occupation).
It’s funny, but being mentioned in a blog hosted on Forbes.com gives you a big credibility boost even if it actually doesn’t mean much to those “in the know”. I know that I was invited to participate in things not [only] because of things I know and can share, but because “this is the guy quoted by The Verge”.
These are only a few reasons I could come up with on the spot. I’m sure there are way more. But I’ll leave that task to you. It’s more fun that way.