Every day, I'm on the hunt for interesting news from Swedish tech startups, beyond what the major news outlets such as DI Digital and Breakit are covering. Many young companies are making it easy to follow their latest news - but not all. Here is a bit of (selfish) - and in parts obvious - advice to startups how to make sure your latest news release is actually being noticed.
1. Use Twitter to spread news
Whatever one might think about Twitter: For journalists, curators and other observers, it's a fantastic tool to efficiently monitor a large amount of public company-specific information. I myself am maintaining a private Twitter list with currently 548 members in it. I add every account of a Swedish startup and tech company to it that I come across, and then scan all the tweets from the list once a day. Often I pick up some interesting news that way. Furthermore, it is possible to turn on smartphone push notifications for individual Twitter accounts, which can come handy if one temporarily wants to specifically monitor a particular company's tweets.
Sadly, only about half of all startups in Sweden do have an active Twitter account (rough estimate). That's a missed opportunity. Changing that would not cost a lot of resources: A Twitter account that in a timely manner publishes all press releases and company news is totally sufficient.
2. Provide key company information on your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is often my first place to go to when researching a company. Typing "LinkedIn [company name]" into Google has become a deeply ingrained habit. I'm happy to report that almost all Swedish startups do have a LinkedIn profile, and in most cases, the information I am personally looking for is there.
From my perspective, a LinkedIn profile should, at a minimum, contain a link to the official company website, an elevator pitch-like description of the product or service offered (ideally in English, although that depends on which sector/market is being targeted), and some basic information on year of founding, number of employees etc. Needless to say, recent news releases should also be listed, even though, in my opinion, LinkedIn is not as useful for systematic monitoring as Twitter. It lacks a list feature and only offers an algorithmic feed, so personally I am not using the "follow" feature on LinkedIn. But it's great for quickly pulling up the basics of a company - often even better than a company website.
3. Publish press releases in English and Swedish
Due to its great track record over the past decade, Swedish tech has gotten many people from abroad interested: investors, journalists, potential future employees, potential partners. Therefore, startups should publish all their key news in English language as well - unless they have deliberately decided not to due to tactical or strategic reasons.
4. Don't hide your news
Occasionally, an interesting news release comes across my radar but I get the impression that the company actually tries to hide it. It might have been published on a press release platform such as Cision, but isn't even visible on the company website. Unless there is a deliberate reason to publish but not to emphasize a news item, it should be easily found through the company website and any other channel.
5. A company blog should have an RSS feed
A company blog is not an essential anymore in 2022, if news are being distributed via Twitter or LinkedIn. But IF there is a company blog, it would be great if it comes with an active RSS feed, so it is possible to subscribe to it. While RSS has failed to break through to the mainstream, it is still part of the primary toolkit of many "information professionals" to monitor a large number of sources.
6. Don't bury the ledge
This is kind of obvious, but not always followed: It should be easy right away to understand what type of news is being communicated. Whether the key message is a funding round, being acquired, acquiring another company, a new product or feature, a new strategic partnership, or layoffs - this information should be clearly stated as early as possible in a text, instead of appearing several paragraphs down - unless of course, the intention is indeed to try to make people lose attention early so they miss the actual (in that case likely negative) information. Though whether such an approach ever has worked, I don't know.
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