At times, we have pre-revenue, pre-investment startups who ask us for marketing assistance and there's really nothing we can do since they don't have budget. We often provide them some advice which consists of incentivizing word-of-mouth marketing (aka referrals) or to take what little money they have and get a great public relations firm. Since content and inbound marketing requires research, planning, testing and momentum – it takes too much time and requires to many resources for the startup.
We've written before on how to pitch and how not to pitch a blogger or journalist. Writing a relevant, descriptive post to a journalist is a great way to try and get your startup discovered. Some folks believe this is simply SPAM but it's not. As a marketing technology blogger, I absolutely expect, love and use pitches almost every day to discover new products and services to write about on this blog. The key is in how the pitch is crafted and whether it's relevant to my audience.
Pressfarm is a new startup site that has accumulated the email and twitter accounts of journalists throughout the Internet that write about startups. Best of all, it's not an expensive subscription. It's just a few bucks to access the entire list of journalists.
My advice to startups – craft a personal message to each of the publications you wish to reach. Keep it blunt and to the point, don't exaggerate that you're the next big thing, send a couple screenshots of a link to a video for them to watch… and then wait. Please don't keep writing them over and over… that's just annoying. If they wanted to write about you, they would the first time you contact them.