PR Fundamentals for Startups
RecentlyÂ I attendedÂ a â€śPR Fundamentals for Startupsâ€ť Best PracticesÂ session at the MaRS Studio. These great sessions are held monthly and provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about sales and marketing for startups.
Led by senior executives at Hill + Knowlton, Canadaâ€™s top-rated public affairs and public relations firm, theÂ session focused upon developing a media relations strategy and outlined a 4 step process to â€śtell your storyâ€ť to the media:
- Define Your Story An important first step in developing any PR strategy is articulating what you want to say about yourself and your company. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What problems does your product or service solve?
- What are your key points of competitive differentiation?
- Who will buy your product and why?
- How did your company develop? Where did the idea come from? Media outlets always love human interest stories, so donâ€™t be afraid to injectyourself into the conversation.
- Research & Target Before you can engage with the media, itâ€™s crucial to understand the landscape. Take the time to get to know the relevant media in your industry and local environment. Find out who the best journalists, bloggers, analysts, and evangelists are in your industry and make an effort to get to know them. Remember that PR is not free publicity â€“ you only own a small piece of the pie. To be successful you have to align your PR efforts with the goals of the media. Then, decide on a â€śhookâ€ť you can consistently use to attract and keep media outlets interested in your companyâ€™s development.
- Contact & Follow-Up AfterÂ defining your story and understanding the media landscape,Â you can start building relationships. Itâ€™s important, however, not to rush this step.Â Many startups reach out too early and their PR efforts suffer because of it. When you have newsworthy content, reach out to your media contacts and bloggers and share the news with your partners, employees, customers, investors, and as many other stakeholders as you can.
- Build & Continue Utilize marketing tools that complement your PR efforts by providing the media with more opportunities to cover what youâ€™re doing. These tools can include:
- Social Media
- Articles, Case Studies, and Whitepapers
- PR Opportunities with Partners
A well-developed PR strategy is a crucial marketing component for any techÂ startup. Solid media relations can enhance understanding ofÂ a complexÂ product or service andÂ start to build aÂ reputation, as well asÂ trust, credibility and longevity. Is your company ready for PR?
If youâ€™re looking for help creating a PR strategy, please feel free to reach out to me at any time for some tips and guidance.