So, you’ve got your funding, you’ve mapped-out your 5 year plan, and your projections are all set. The marketing budget is approved, the paid media spend is signed-off… but what about your PR?
PR is often something that startup businesses tend to consider when something has gone wrong, rather than looking at how they can emerge into their industry all guns blazing with the help of a specialist PR agency from the outset.
We spoke to tech PR agency Fourth Day about what startup teams need to know about their PR strategies, why they’re so important, and what they can do to really ‘nail’ their PR approach from day one.
1. Allocate your spokespeople
This is often something that startup teams don’t consider, and it can often mean the difference between obtaining coverage or losing out, especially if you’re approaching industry publications hoping for commentary or insights from a very specific type of leader.
Allocating multiple spokespeople for reactive PR and journalist commentary is often crucial, as you can ‘cover the spread’ required for industry thought leadership internally – and ensure that you’re not missing out on any opportunities that may present themselves in various forms of PR.
2. Don’t be disheartened after day one
PR, like most communication strategies, is not the type of thing you ‘switch on’ or get results right from the beginning. Building a positive reputation takes time.
Success can vary based on industry type, industry size, and what you as a startup have to offer in a landscape where there is ever-increasing competition.
Be bold with your approach and don’t be afraid to test the waters. But you will want to build momentum. This may require additional support, whether that’s via hiring agencies or hiring someone to run your PR activity in-house.
3. Think like leaders
If you’ve never had a PR strategy before then it can sometimes feel a little alien to suddenly position yourself as an industry voice. But, it’s important to remember that this is exactly who you are.
Startup teams are often filled with incredibly talented and knowledgeable industry leaders, who are passionate about their area of expertise. They just might not necessarily know the best way in which to communicate with the audience you want to reach. That’s where a detailed PR strategy comes in handy!
4. Set the agenda
PR is crucial for startups as a means to influence industry conversations, and create a narrative that supports your business goals.
For example, if you want to be seen as a niche expert or an industry leader in a subset of the market, then consider what messages need to be shared and how you as a startup can build trust with your audience and the wider industry. This will help you produce commentary and authoritative thought leadership content that can sway opinions.
5. Social proof
Make sure you are sharing your PR coverage. This is easily one of the best forms of social proof for your startup. For example, a feature in your industry press that positions you as experts in the field is one of the best ways of validating your authority to your wider network.
Plus, the publications in which you’re featured will always be happy to share and like your post to get more eyes to their content!
PR can elevate your startup and give it a voice in a competitive landscape. But it is not a ‘set and forget’ strategy. Hopefully this article has shown just how crucial PR, why it’s important to plan carefully and some of the approaches you can take to establish your reputation. .