Could a press release help attract VC's?
My business is ride-share technology and we are still in the process of building our app. It is not ready to be released yet. Could a press release help attract VC's? Or should we wait until it is ready and then issue the press release?
From a PR strategy standpoint, I'm a big believer in bringing your business influence to life in order to bring your business ideas to life.
That means you should think about doing some PR before you flip the 'open for business' sign around.
By engaging with your target audiences and media, seeding the market with your ideas, experience and expertise, you can gradually build your influence and credibility through the media.
In essence, you are talking about building up your PR in lock-step with the development and building of your product - showcasing your expertise, experience and knowledge which will help contribute to attracting attention and building engagement with your markets and audiences, who include stakeholders such as VCs, if that's your aim. Good luck with it.
Sandra: You used the term VCs rather than Angel Investors. Typically for an early stage business, you need to leverage friends, family, and "accredited investors" as Angel Investors. These are people that believe in the idea and more importantly believe in you. They are betting on you so that someday they will get their money back with a return. Once the business is making money or growing at a sustained rate, if there is the potential for wide scale adoption for a disruptive technology, then you can begin to pitch VCs. Typically VCs aren't interested in the very early stages until the concept can be shown to "have legs".
Sandra, you are getting some great advice here in answer to your question. Put all the above answers together logically, and you can see where you need to go. If your app has potential for wide scale, ready adoption and solves a problem with older technologies in your space, VC's would be interested in hearing about that news. If you do issue a release, be sure to invest in a good PR distribution service such as Cision that can target current journalists and bloggers in the VC industry.
It could theoretically help though there is no guarantee that this will indeed be the case. For some products the timing of a press release can be very crucial as well, I would discuss it with your marketing department.
I think you have to ask yourself a few questions. What is the press release about? "We're working on an app and we'll tell you when it's finished?" A press release should be news. Where would this press release go? Who would pick it up? You are trying to attract VC's and you could do that with media coverage, but it doesn't sound like you have newsworthy info right now. I would focus on a pitch to VC's directly.
As with all these modes of communication, what do you hope to achieve with a press release?
After all, you're looking for an injection of capital and not press coverage, necessarily.
I don't see how it wouldn't be better for you to hit some networks of investors – crowdfunders, investment angels, etc – and see if any of them are interested.