Pressing Ahead: Zette's Journey to Media Coverage

founder @ Zette

Published on Mar 28

Hi all,

Happy Wednesday!

I often get hit up by other founders asking for my advice on how to get press for their startups. Some of my friends even refer to me as the "queen of media," likely because they're im-pressed by Zette's constant media coverage.

But today I wanted to share with you the behind-the-scenes saga of how we actually got our first mentions in the media, and how the process of generating news is often way less straightforward than it looks. Let's start at the beginning:

As a former journalist, I assumed getting press for Zette would be easy.

Having worked in multiple newsrooms, I'd reviewed thousands of pitches, and written hundreds of stories myself. Naturally I figured—how hard could it be to be the one getting coverage instead?

But after weeks of preparation (building our outreach lists, prepping our press kits, cold emailing journalists) with absolutely zero hits, we realized that the landscape for early-stage startup coverage was truly tough going.

A few times we came so close to finally getting a feature, only to get ghosted by the publication in the end. After a month of radio silence, we got so discouraged that we actually fully gave up trying any further and went back to building.

It was only later on that we realized: we'd never actually announced our fundraise. Was it even still newsworthy? At that point, a year had passed. But we had made significant progress on the company (including new publishers partnerships, a working product, and a growing team), and we had a lot of updates to share. So, with tempered expectations, we decided to try again.

To my great surprise, what was once an uphill battle turned into a flurry of press coverage from Forbes, TechCrunch, Us Weekly, Ponyter, and more.

The irony here? After throwing all of our energy behind trying to get press the first time around with nothing to show for it, media attention began pouring in the second time around with little to no effort, and only after we weren't expecting anything at all.

Check out early articles about Zette here:

You know that phrase, “when it rains, it pours?” It felt like we were initially stuck in a press drought, struggling to get even a single mention. We were aiming for big names, hoping for some recognition, but ultimately shouting into the void.

But the day we got that first drop of press coverage, it was like the floodgates opened. I remember how much I stressed about that first hit—it felt like our one big moment in the spotlight, the first chance we ever had to tell our story. And then before we knew it, we had more press than we knew what to do with.

Our major takeaway here: perseverance pays off, but the timeline can be unpredictable. What started as a bid for media attention became a true lesson in resilience. The longer I've danced in startupland, the more I've embraced its sheer unpredictability, taking on new challenges as opportunities for growth.

Today, with 100+ publishers on board, and a consistent blitz of media coverage, we now have perspective that only time and experience can bring. Our first (unsuccessful) month in the press machine was just a small stepping stone to Zette's current presence in the media landscape. Moving forward, every day is a new opportunity for our story to unfold.

Want to be a part of Zette’s next chapter? Join the media revolution here

Until next time,

Yehong Zhu

Founder & CEO, Zette