How to Support Women Founders in the Media 📰
Since earned media coverage is such an integral part of an early-stage company’s ability to raise, media coverage for women founders and leaders is critical.
This week attention finally turned to Mira Murati, the CTO of OpenAI and her incredible work developing ChatGPT.
I watched the conversation unfold, with some people assuming that Mira did not want the attention as a possibly introverted CTO (broad generalization), while others blamed CEO, Samuel Altman, for hogging all the media attention and credit (also a broad generalization).
The truth is, as someone who works daily with founders in the media, neither of those assumptions is more than likely what’s happening.
It’s simply easy to do just do what we always do — interview the CEO.
Women are still very often relegated to stories that focus on women instead of just being the main story, for the sake of being the main story.
If we really want to shift the paradigm, there are a few actions that all of us can take to ensure that women founders are getting the coverage, and therefore getting the benefits that impact the startup ecosystem as a whole.
If you’re a reporter: A simple way to make sure more women are getting more coverage is to diligently evaluate the ratio of sources per article. It’s a small shift that will help bring more attention to female founders.
Sometimes it takes a little bit more work, especially if all the sources who have first offered to contribute are men & the deadline is looming. But the days of publishing articles with an all-male perspective are over, & balanced viewpoints leads to richer reporting.
If you are a Publicist, PR Director, or run an agency: You have to push your clients & executives out of their comfort zones. Learn which women are spearheading which initiatives at the companies you work with. Even if the founders or CEO are men, dig to find out which women you can push forward in the media. Consider this a well-rounded approach to your onboarding process. One that is outfitted for more media opportunities.
Don’t be afraid to point out articles to your media friends that are lacking in female perspective. The key here is not to be critical or rude, but point out where the article will benefit from including women. Remember, it’s not 100% accurate if it doesn’t include our perspective.
If you’re a VC: Encourage your female founders to start advocating for themselves in the media. Help them understand why earned media is important out of the gate for the growth of their company. Often, encouragement from trusted investors is all it takes for women and their teams to start consistently pursuing media opportunities. And there’s nothing like leading by example. If you’re not highlighting the women in your firm/partners publicly, it’s time to start.
What other ideas would you add to help women get more press?
#startups #pr #femalefounders #internationalwomensday