22 January 2021|Latest Posts, Launching a business, Marketing, PR, Promotion, Resources
By Joanna Dodd of the Rochester PR Group. As a startup, you’ve got loads of goals, problems and opportunities to think about, but carve out some time for some PR that will help raise your profile and your business grow.
Understand what PR is
Firstly, it’s worth understanding what PR is. Consider it as a strategic communication process which builds mutually beneficial relationships between your company and brand and your audiences. The best PR is carefully planned with time to formulate ideas, finesse messaging, create materials and ensure the right people are being targeted. Take a look at other startups, their media coverage, their websites and content, what messages do you think they are sharing. What might those be for your business.
Define what you want to get out of any PR activity
Work out your business objectives and plan your PR activity to help you achieve these. For example, for the business objective of reaching a sales target, you might need more or new people to know about your brand. The PR objective would therefore be to generate more awareness. Other startup objectives might be to successfully launch a new product or service, to attract the right talent to your business or to secure financial investment to help you grow.
Capture your founder’s story
One of my favourite pieces of advice, is to remember to capture your founding story. It’s a great piece of content that you can use for many years to come so capture it whilst it’s fresh and make sure you know it! You’d be surprised how often I have seen stories change or hear different versions of events from different founders.
If you’re a not-so-new startup, things may have changed since you first started and may have become more complex since your initial “ah-ha” moment. You have probably spent months fine-tuning your product or service and creating business plans, but your most powerful tool is why you did it in the first place. What prompted you to launch your business, what problem were you trying to solve? How does your product or service aim to enhance people’s lives? Re-connecting with that emotion can help with many a PR angle and story.
Back to basics
Start by taking a long hard look at your website and social channels
and other collateral. Do they reflect your mission, vision and values, are they up-to-date, relevant to the market and with great content? Get rid of typos or out-of-date information. Give everything a spring clean, it’s your job to put your best face forward.
Understand your targets
Think about who you need to reach with your messaging and content and, then find the media that reaches them. Do you know what they are reading/watching/listening to? Try to avoid basing this on your personal likes or dislikes as you’ll introduce bias to your targeting. Make sure you get to know these media outlets before you start pitching. You’ll need to target the right journalist with the right kind of story otherwise your investment will be wasted.
Make a start
Being ‘a best kept secret’ is never a good plan for a startup. So, pull together your media collateral, make it relevant, make sure it’s newsworthy. When crafting your news release, think Topical, Relevant, Unusual, Trouble, Human interest. Think of your end audience, how do you want them to react or what action do you want them to take when they see/hear/read about you?
Follow the news agenda
Once your startup is launched, think of follow on stories. Whether you are a food brand following consumer habits or a tech brand with the latest innovation, remain relevant, jump on the news agenda and react to ensure you stay part of the conversation.
Measure and analyse what works
PR is much more measurable than you may think, with so much media visible online you will be able to track click throughs from online coverage to your site. And when it comes to social media, you can track analytics including engagement, follows, reach. After your first foray into PR, you will be better armed with information that will help you make even more impact with your next story.