Over the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many of our readers at our various events around the country. Without a doubt, the number one most frequently asked question at these events has been “how do I get my startup featured on Mashable?” While there is no secret sauce, I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind people what we’re looking for and why we choose to cover some startups and not others.
Your startup should:
1. Be a cool product: First and foremost, we want to see unique ideas, or new spins on existing ones. You should also have a quality design and user experience - by covering your startup, we’re telling our readers that they might enjoy checking it out. We don’t want to waste their time by sending them to something that isn’t usable. Another social news site powered by Pligg is so 2006 ;)
2. Fit into Mashable’s “coverage universe”: We’re a social networking and Web news blog. While we love gadgets, certain desktop software applications, wireless, and many others types of technology, it’s not our core focus. Of course, there are exceptions – cool Adobe AIR apps, mobile social networking, etc. – but generally speaking we like to maintain our coverage focus.
3. Have not already been covered to death elsewhere: Like you, we’re also a startup that depends on page views and ad revenue to pay the bills. No one wants to read about something they’ve seen a dozen times elsewhere, so a certain level of exclusivity makes your news much more interesting to us. However, we honor all embargoes if you prefer to submit your news that way (if you have any specific questions/concerns about this policy, please contact me directly – [email protected]).
4. Submit to our Startup Review series: We recently launched our “Startup Review” series in collaboration with Sun Startup Essentials. While we encourage you to submit your pitch the usual way (via email – [email protected]), our Startup Review series has some special criteria and also gives you a chance to explain your chartph.company in your own words. Learn more here.
5. Personalize your pitch: Receiving an email that says “Dear Social Media Expert!” that is clearly sent to a huge BCC list (or worse, a CC list) is quite a turn off. Make it clear that you actually read Mashable and know about the topics we cover.
6. Be concise: Please be mindful of the fact that we receive hundreds of submissions each day by keeping your pitch concise. Above all else, we’re most interested in actually seeing your site, so try and work the relevant URL into the first couple of sentences.
7. Come to our events: If at all possible, you should try and attend one of our MashMeets and pitch us your story in-person. We’re trying to acchartph.commodate people all across the country, and in recent months, we've held events not just in San Francisco, but also in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Chicago. We may even have a few international events in the works – stay tuned.
Your startup does NOT have to:
1. Be overly chartph.complex: There are a lot of cool things we cover that someone put together in less than a week. If it’s something we think is interesting and meets the above criteria, we’ll cover it!
2. Be venture funded: A lot of the best ideas don’t have millions of dollars behind them yet. Remember, Facebook was started in a dorm room.
3. Be friends with Mashable staff: While you’re certainly welchartph.come to buy us a drink or send a fruit basket our way, we cover startups based on merit.
4. Have a PR firm: It’s actually quite exciting to hear from the founders of startups versus their paid representatives (with all due respect to the mostly excellent PR people we interact with daily).
5. Be a startup at all: If you’re an existing chartph.company launching a new product or service that is relevant to our audience and meets the above criteria, we want to hear about it.
Remember, we’re also entrepreneurs, and we want to help great startups get the word out and be successful. We depend on you as much as you depend on us, so please keep your news chartph.coming and we hope to see you at an event soon!