Subject Lines and Twitter Intros: How Startups Can Build Relationships with the Media


I was asked to moderate a panel at Blueprint’s 500 Startups Day event on how startups can engage the media to cover news about their startups – and there were some interesting discoveries made that I want to share here:

Build relationships BEFORE you want coverage

Raymond Yip of Shopline was on the panel and even though he has very newsworthy news about Shopline’s funding he still started relationships with the key media he wanted to target far before he started any press release writing. He also mentioned being available by email and phone 24/7 for any follow-up questions taking into account a reporters tight deadlines.

Use Twitter

In the immortal words of TechInAsia journalist Paul Bischoff “F*ck LinkedIn!”

Twitter is the way to go when approaching journalists. I personally love Twitter – even in Hong Kong where usage is low – but the world uses this to engage strangers, if you’re a startup in Hong Kong and not on Twitter get on it now and tweet me (@casey_lau) and I will follow you back immediately – and then go follow the journalists on my panel and introduce yourself:

  • Paul Bischoff (@pabischoff) from @TechInAsia
  • Iris Leung (@irismtleung) from @e27co
  • James Griffiths (@jgriffiths) from @SCMP
  • and if you’re reading this and not following @StartupsHK – then, you’re welcome!

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Great Founders, Futuristic Wearables and Government Intervention: ‘An Evening With Walt Mossberg’ Gives Hong Kong Startups Insight from a Tech Journalism Legend

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On Friday, StartupsHK hosted the legendary Walt Mossberg — former principal technology columnist at the Wall Street Journal, creator of AllThingsD and the co-executive editor of Re/Code. Casey Lau, known in the Hong Kong circles as the ‘Startup Morpheus’ quizzed Walt on everything from the fall of Gigaom to his thoughts on what makes a good founder. It was an inspiring, no-bullshit sharing session for an audience of journalists, techies and startups from one of the most influential technology journalists of our time.

Before launching his Personal Technology column, which ran from 1991 to 2013, Mossberg covered national and international affairs for almost two decades at the Wall Street Journal. Despite being lauded by WIRED as ‘The Kingmaker’ due to his incredibly influential reviews, Mossberg is as humble as they come. “The first half of my career, I felt lucky to cover giant historical events in the geopolitical realm. I got to be at the Berlin Wall a couple days after it fell, got to do cool things like that. In the tech part of my career, I got to know people that were also going to be written in the history books as well. It was as if I got into a time machine and could write about the people that invented the car… it’s been a lucky thing for me,” he said.

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Hackathons and Hong Kong: A Natural Fit

Angelhack Hackathon

Above: Hackers get into their groove at AngelHack Hong Kong, 2013

Between Chinese New Year and the end of March this year six hackathons will have taken place in Hong Kong. From the HK Budget Hackathon to the HKUST Hackathon right after our event, the MasterCard Masters of Code Competition, tis the season for hacks.

You’ve definitely heard the word “hackathon” if you’ve been paying attention to the tech industry over the past few years. You may not completely understand what goes on at one of these, but what you should know is it’s become a vital part of today’s tech culture.

To clarify, a hackathon is a gathering of mostly developers and designers coming together to pitch product ideas, try out a new coding language, network, collaborate and compete for prizes.

Hackathons, like anything in the tech world, change rapidly. When AngelHack started in the space almost three years ago, having a venue and some Red Bull was generally enough for a good event. As we expanded globally, we began to focus on making hackathons something special, events you came to because each one would be fun and spontaneous and memorable.

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