Why should a startup, that is still in the seed stage spend money on PR?
PR helps a company reach its target audience, thus, making it inevitable for startups to invest in it. Revenues are extremely important if you are a new business. A stellar product does grab traction but at the same time, you should also make efforts to reach out to the potential customers who as of now are unaware of your company.
To constantly improve on the product that you have made, your company will need funds. These funds will come from venture capitalists. But how will they fund you if they don’t know about you? That’s another area where PR can helps startups . A company has to promote its product to be able to generate revenue and to also attract investors.
Having said that, companies should not resort to inorganic PR in desperation for publicity. Quibi, the mobile streaming startup spent $63M yet survived only for 6 months. Thus, promoting the brand organically goes a long way in creating an impact on consumers’ mind.
Founders of various startups love to be in talks, yet there are only a few of them who can make the mark in consumers’ minds. Being in the news also gives you a chance of being noticed by the VCs that may want to invest in your business. So, what is it that will put your startup in the minds of consumers? What is it that will help you get more interviews and more coverage in articles and journals? Don’t worry, we have it decoded for you. In this article, we give you some tips that are going to help you land that spot in your consumers’ minds.
Write your own story
Attracting PR is all about storytelling, how compelling your story is, and how you narrate it. Startups are not always about having an innovative idea, sometimes you should convey the normal idea in an innovative manner. Founders must construct a way in which they want to deliver their products. Everyone knows that Google started in a garage because that’s the story that Larry Page and Sergey Brin have successfully narrated. Every startup has a story and the founder just has to carve it, so that it sticks with the audience for many more years to come.
How can you create an interesting story to attract startup PR?
First, decide if you are a product entrepreneur or a sales entrepreneur. A product entrepreneur wouldn’t want to pay more attention to the advertising part. Such entrepreneurs are more concerned with the products and are focused on polishing the product. They believe- ‘Create a solid product and sales will follow,’ by word of mouth. Whereas a sales entrepreneur focuses on both- the story and the product development. For such entrepreneurs, it becomes vital to understand the art of storytelling.
You should start startup PR only when you are confident about your product. Once the product is complete and free from all glitches, then it’s time to opt for PR for further growth.
What is your startup’s PR story?
You must make sure what story you want to convey, it can either be how you started the product? How you failed numerous times before coming to this product? Or how your product can change the consumers’ lives. All these are topics on which the founders can build their story, thus choose whichever suits you the best.
Do your employees believe in your story?
The founders should make sure that every person on board knows the story and believes in it. Before connecting with the audience, you must make sure you connect with your employees first. These are the people who are going to work for you, thus it is very important to ensure that every employee of the startup believes in the story that will go out in PR.
Build long-term relations for strong startup PR
Focus on building long term relations instead of short-term publicity. Short term PR lands the startup on the top searches only for a few days. It becomes a fad and fad is not long-term. Short term PR should never be the objective of promotion. Entrepreneurs should focus on long term relationship building with journalists.
Understand the publications and media houses that cover industries that you are operating in. Once that is figured, try building relationships with those reporters and journalists.
Make them believe in what you have to say. Help them understand what the objective of your company is and how it is impactful. The end article is published by the reporter and you don’t get to edit it your way. Hence, it is vital to ensure that the journalist has positive things to say about the company, all this should happen organically. This can help you build a long-term relationship with the journalist. They will look forward to interviewing you again as they are intrigued by your interview, all of this is just because you had a stellar story to tell!
Also, decide what is the ultimate goal of PR for your startup. It can either be to promote the product to multiply sales or it could also be to promote the company to land VC funding.
Create a flawless product to support startup PR
Focus on your end product. Make sure you are not over-promising and under-delivering. Theranos (valued at over a billion dollars) gained popularity due to PR but collapsed due to the absence of the product! Over-committing and under-delivering can tarnish the company image in consumers’ minds Thus, make sure you do not over-promise if your product is not in place.
Do not keep your story constant!
Do not keep your story constant! Understand what the audience wants. After establishing the target journalist, tailor-make the story as per their choices. Research on the journalist’s previous work and analyze his interest areas. Try selling the story the way the journalist would like to buy it.
Startup PR is not just about increasing sales momentarily. PR should help the audience connect with your brand. It helps you enhance your brand value. Organic PR aids to strengthen your relationship with the journalists. Startups are new ventures thus every bit of publicity goes a long way for their business.
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