Tech startups turn to digital PR platform for media exposure

by Jeremy

Early-stage technology startups in the UK use the digital public relations (PR) platform Newspage to help increase media visibility and secure further funding. Conceived during the UK’s first national lockdown, Newspage enables startups to create and disseminate their publicity without the involvement of expensive PR agencies whose costs are prohibitive to many early-stage startups. While Newspage is designed for small businesses operating in the UK, the latest vertical its founders are targeting are technology startups.


“I’ve worked with tons of tech startups that are bootstrapping and have hardly any cash – they come to see PR agencies, it’s £1,000 a day or even £500 a day, but it’s beyond their budget. Until they get an angel investment or VC [venture capital] backing, they’re off the radar,” said co-founder Dominic Hiatt.

“You can have a fascinating story without £10m of VC money behind you. There are countless ways to grow, and you could have a fascinating business model or an exciting new app, but if you have no angel funding, nobody’s interested in you – and that doesn’t seem right.”

He added that the underlying concept of Newspage is to be a “port” for connecting media and news organizations with stories that would otherwise be difficult to find. For startups themselves, the platform can help them raise money through increased visibility.

“We all know how it works – investors see you on the BCC, or in the Times, the Telegraph, and it creates credibility and helps…to raise money,” said Hiatt.

While UK tech firms saw record levels of investment in 2020 after collectively raising $15bn, a significant portion of this money ($3.5bn, or around 20%) went to just ten scaleup firms – eight of which are based in London.

In March 2021, UK business creation figures also showed that a new technology business was created every half an hour during 2020, with nearly 19,500 registered across the UK.

With so much funding and investment tied up in just a handful of firms, Newspage allows less established startups to generate publicity without sacrificing already limited resources.

According to Newspage user Ross Boyd, founder of digital mortgage switching service Dashly, the platform allows companies to create a profile page when using services such as Facebook or LinkedIn.

“Add your company information and experts, files, and jpegs the media may find handy, and off you go. It’s all very intuitive,” said Boyd, adding that Dashly has seen “countless pieces of national and trade media coverage through this year” due to using Newspage.

“Newspage is a breath of fresh air when you think of the prices some PR agencies charge and the retainers they tie you into. ””Getting into the mainstream media is always great for securing investment. It adds instant credibility to your startup and can even impact your valuation.” Having a Newspage doesn’t mean you may not need other PR support, but it’s a great base camp and a no-brainer,” he said.

Mark Williams, the founder of London-based IT specialist Pensar, said that his firm turned to Newspage after looking for ways to increase its digital footprint in previously unexplored ways such as PR.

“Traditional PR agencies come with big price tags and uncertain return on investment,” he said. “As a result of being a Newspage user, we’ve had more coverage than we could have imagined and in publications and websites with audiences that we would never have been able to reach.”

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