If you’re not a public relations or media professional, knowing how and when to leverage effective PR for your startup can be a challenge.
The goal of public relations is to manage the dissemination of a message between an organization or individual and your audience. When done correctly it can bring your startup the publicity, and potentially the funding, it needs to increase brand awareness and get people talking. A well devised and executed PR campaign can create sturdy media relations, build a strong reputation, as well as foster longstanding trust and interest in your startup.
Before you get started, make sure you’re aware of these PR fundamentals for startups and ensure you have the following in order:
- Do You Have a Strategic Plan in Place for Your Business/Product/Service? If you do, great. If you don’t, hold off on calling reporters and publications. You need to have all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed before you can actively put your company in the public eye. Getting press too early can make your business seem unprepared, especially if you’re unable to handle the volume of calls and inquiries that may come with publicity. In addition, knowing where you want to see your business in 1, 3, and 5 years will better help you determine what you want from the press and convey your message and goals.
- Did You Do Your Homework? You need to know all there is to know about your industry, not only to plan for the future of your business, but because your uniqueness will help you uncover a key selling point for PR purposes.
- Who else is in your direct line of business? Are you really the only one or one of many? Who are your real competitors?
- What are your unique selling points? Answer this question: “My company is like ABC, however, we differ in XYZ”
Knowing where you lie within your industry and what makes you unique among your peers will help any PR effort to effectively cut through the noise.
- Do You Have a Clear Value-Driven Message? What is your company’s message? Is it intuitive enough to sell itself? Value-driven messages build relationships and help ensure that people will remember you. When crafting your own, be sure to avoid complicated terminology or industry jargon. Your message should describe your value and what you do in a way that can be understood by just about everyone.
Answering the above questions will provide you with the foundation you need to pitch your company or engage a PR agency to do it for you. Abiding by these tips will help your startup reap the benefits of effective PR.
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