This question has been asked a million times, but most of the time Public Relations is typically the last task on a startup’s checklist. Entrepreneurs must understand that having their new venture featured in a publication will help them to reach out to a large margin of their target audience. PR helps you to get the exposure that further helps your business to flourish.
Below are a few points that will enable you to understand how PR helps a start-up
1.An introduction – PR introduces you to the world, especially to the target audience. The PR agency understands your product/service and creates a strategy to enhance your brand awareness. Constant coverage gives exposure and flourishes the business. Some ventures may want PR initially to attract investors or recruiting, rather than customer acquisition.
2.Filter the brand amongst competitors – Media gets a lot of requests from various brands to feature them. In choosing companies to highlight and article or inputs, media firms indirectly endorse brands. If a company is not in the news and their competitors are, then the former’s ranking among customers may take a hit. Digitally, SEO is important, but marketing-driven SEO isn’t enough. Investors and customers want to see your company mentioned in prominent publications.
3.Highlight the entrepreneur as an industry expert – Hiring a PR agency not only creates awareness for the start-up but also the entrepreneur. A businessman is a mastermind that runs the start-up therefore, they are quoted as an ‘industry expert’. The views and insights shared by them are attributed in various industry stories.
4.A continuous process – A PR agency is not a one time job. They will help you to be in limelight for all good reasons. The agency keeps generating news pegs to ensure the brand is highlighted in the publications.
5.Pocket-friendly – Start-ups invest in various marketing and promotional activities but are unaware that PR is the pocket –friendly investments. The initial years for a start-up is focused on generating profits or reaching the break even point. Therefore, it is understood that they cannot invest huge amounts in advertisements. This is when PR comes for the rescue that creates monthly, quarterly or half-yearly plans to promote the brand and that too almost one-third of the amount that could have been spent on advertising.
Besides understanding the importance of hiring a PR agency, let’s see a few basic points and principles on working with the agencies.
1)Start-ups should strive to own relationships with journalists. During this process, the PR Agency can show them the way, and help manage media relations. The PR agency will conduct a communication workshop for the Startup CEO to make him/her feel comfortable answering the media queries.
2)Before hiring an agency, a start-up should do rigorous check. If possible, talk to the agency’s other customers, preferably, in related fields to the startup and know what their experience was. Do not blindly take the investors’ recommendations for a PR agency. Cross-check before finalizing the decision.
3)PR work involves a lot of bursts of activities with some dull periods in between. Startups can initially look for a project basis PR service depending on their needed periods like the launch of the brand, new product launches, filing IPO docs, etc.
4)Startups should insist that they get to meet their daily point of contact from the agency. They must be comfortable with them.
Some start-ups would prefer to have an in-house PR person. In such a case, the candidate should have some journalism or PR background. They should have the acumen to do a good job with the strategy, communication, writing, etc.
At last, in this digital world, good PR can fuel social engagements that will amplify your message and spread your reach.