How Sribu Obtained More Than 50 Different Media Coverage In a Year


Publicity is one of the most (essential) element for a new startup. Apart from media (coverage), publicity also enables information of your products to be relayed to your audience. Taking example that one media publishes 150,000 copies of the article. This would mean that you are more likely to reach 150,000 people who will get to read and know about your startup. Now, imagine this is multiplied by 20 – 20 media publicities; you will easily reach millions of people who might possibly visit your website.

However, it is not easy getting publicity through media coverage for a startup. Back then, I googled and read articles from sites such as Huffingtonpost and TheNextWeb to find out how to get publicity for Sribu . We managed to get publicity in our very first year, and subsequently more than 50 media coverages. The following are examples of the media coverages that we have received:


– Dailysocial:

– Yahoo!:

– Marketing:

– Kompas:

– BeritaSatu:

– Tempo:

– Tech in Asia:

– PC Plus:

– Kontan:

– Teknojurnal:

– Liputan 6:

And more coverages…we receive more than 50 media coverages by using the following 5 methods:

1. Contact the media directly

This is one of the most common ways to get media coverage for your startup. You can start off by getting the email address of the media company and drop them an email. Keeping in mind that the editors receive hundreds of emails each day, it is important to ensure that you give an attractive title for your email – one that will capture the editor’s attention.

I also recommend that you make a courtesy call and speak to the editor as a follow up. It will be easier to explain about your products via the phone too. This is one way that got us more than 10 media coverages.

2. Be a speaker in a startup event

It is important to be part of the sharing culture. If you are an expert in your field, share your expertise! Offer to be a speaker! This will simultaneously help to introduce the startup you are running. What’s more, you will learn and grow from it!

The more well-known the event is, the more likely you are to get publicity from the media in attendance. I grab the opportunity to be a speaker at these events, and have spoken as a speaker at Bina Nusantara, GEPI and many others.

Ryan - Jejualan
Ryan on Jejualan Event


3. Take part in Startup competitions
Have you heard of Startup Asia or Sparx up? They are high profile competitions within the startup community and are good platforms to brush up your presentation and pitching skill. Pitch well and get your startup qualified and nominated! You will find your startup under the media spotlight too!

Sribu has taken part in competitions such as SparxUp Djarum (2011) as well as Echelon (2012) and INAICTA (2013) organised by the Ministry of Tourism.

Publicity gained from the events are extraordinary.

Sribu as one of the Winner of Inaicta 2013
Sribu as one of the Winner of Inaicta 2013


4. Building Good Relationships with Others Startup Founders
You will sure hear of products and names of various startup founders when you are in the startup community. Build up your network within the community. Do not hesitate to say hello to these founders through social media platforms or get directly acquainted with them at various events. Introduce yourself well and share with them about your product. Be humble.

These founders bring along with them enriching experiences on startup and will be a great person to go to if you need advice. What’s more, their products or even your products maybe be what they are looking for in the future. So, start making friends!

5. Attend Startup events
Startup events are great platforms for you to know new people (founders, investors, journalists), new products and widen your connections. Do not just stay with the group you are familiar with. Take the step forward and get to know others. Establish good relationships. The wider your connection, the higher the chance you have to be recommended by a startup founder who was previously covered by the media. We got more than 5 media coverages by coming to startup events and got to know some of the journalists that attend these events.

The Journey Of Making Sribu Known to Public
SparxUp is a startup event initiated by DailySocial. It started in 2010, SparxUp helps to forge the network and relationships between founders, investors and shareholders. Apart from inviting speakers to share about their startups and companies, the event also holds a competition where selected new startups get to pitch and compete.

I participated in SparxUp 2011 in November when I just started Sribu. The event was organized by Djarum. Two weeks prior to the commencement of the competition, I received news that Sribu had been selected as one of the startups to attend the pitching session. I was very excited and started preparing for my presentation, waiting for the day of pitching to come…
I arrived at Ideosource office for the pitching. It was crowded and I knew nobody. Fortunately, my two friends, Susan and Jennifer came over to support me. Truthfully, doing presentation was not my favorite subject – especially in front of a lot of people. However, I realised that as a startup founder, one has to take the plunge even for the things that you do not like.

Theme SparxUp 2011: Innovate or Die
Theme SparxUp 2011: Innovate or Die


The atmosphere was very tense and I was 7th on the line for the presentation. The list of the judges add up to the already nervy moment…Martin Hartono, Managing Partner of GDP Ventures ( Djarum ) , Satya Witoelar from Koprol (startup that was acquired Yahoo) and Amalia Maulana, Managing Director Etnomark. Each of us had only 5 minutes to present our product and I remember that one of the participants took a long time to explain about her product that she did not have the chance to finish the remaining important slides. The questions posed by the jury were not easy too. I was really nervous during the presentation as I had never presented in front of a huge audience before. I rushed through my 10 slides presentation and immediately entered into the question segment. Fortunately, I managed to answer all the questions well and was relieved that it was all over.

Discussion Innovate or Die SparxUp 2011
Discussion Innovate or Die SparxUp 2011

After the presentation, I headed to the Grand Indonesia’s Ballroom where the participating startups were given a chance to showcase their products in respective booth while waiting for the winner announcements. At that time, there were only 2 people in our team, Wenes and I (Wenes was in Surabaya). Thus, I had to attend our booth alone.

I had the chance to meet people who have helped me in growing Sribu through the event. One of them was Rama Mamuaya (Founder of DailySocial). Rama shared a lot about the startup scenes in Indonesia and through him, I learnt about the Venture Capitalist (VC) and their roles in the startup ecosystem.

Another person that I met was Firman Arifman, who founded an education software company. He was interested in Sribu and subsequently became one of our early clients. I also made friends with Joseph from And Technology whose startup won event and Teddy and Niko from Klikhotel. They all became my good friends and we continued to communicate, give advice or exchange ideas about our startups even until today.

Before the awarding night, there were several speakers that presented and most notably Evan Spytma from PopCap, a game company that made Plants vs. Zombies. Evan mentioned that Plants vs. Zombies was the 50th product created by PopCap before achieving success. This was one of the most inspiring stories about the up and down of a startup company!

SparxUp 2011 Winners
SparxUp 2011 Winners


The announcement finally came in and Sribu was the winner under the category of ‘User Generated Content’. We became the winner alongside BisTip and It was a proud moment for Sribu and I, our first achievement!

Journalists and I
After the award ceremony, I was approached by journalists who would like to interview me about Sribu. It was stressful as I have never been interviewed by journalist before. They bombarded me with questions…why I ventured into startup, why created a product like Sribu and such..
Through the session, I became acquainted with many journalists and became close friends with them. To name a few, they are Dodhi of Tempo, Eka from PC Plus, Siska of Kontan and many more. Through this, I gained an understanding about news values and what readers want.

Post SparxUp 2011
The experience gained through SparxUp 2011 was remarkable. I learned many new things and most importantly, its impact for Sribu. After the event, there was at least one or two medias that wanted to do a post-event interviews regarding Sribu every week for the whole month. Sribu’s unique concept as the first crowdsourcing company in Indonesia and our SparxUp achievement were the main topics of most of the coverages.

Ryan in Fortune Magazine
Ryan in Fortune Magazine


The publicities drove traffic to our website and brought in many customers that used Sribu’s service. We also learned that publicity is something that should be done consistently since the emergence of new published news every day will make past stories lost and be forgotten . These are all part and parcel of growing a startup.


“No publication is a staple of life. It’s not bread and water. You have to make it noteworthy in people’s minds and even in their hands as they’re holding it.” – Timothy White

The publicities drove traffic to our website and brought in many customers that used Sribu’s service. We also learned that publicity is something that should be done consistently since the emergence of new published news every day will make past stories lost and be forgotten . These are all part and parcel of growing a startup.


No publication is a staple of life. It’s not bread and water. You have to make it noteworthy in people’s minds and even in their hands as they’re holding it.” – Timothy White

Ryan Gondokusumo
Ryan adalah CEO dan Founder dari 11 tahun pengalaman di management, product development, strategic dan digital marketing