As a startup founder, you have a lot on your plate. You’re not just building the product and getting it to market; you’re working on customer support, fundraising, pitching investors, communicating with partners and vendors, managing employees—the list goes on.
With such a long list, it’s easy to see why some startups neglect public relations. Don’t be the founder that falls for this trap! PR can be the difference between a startup that fails and one that succeeds.
As a new company, you probably have no marketing, advertising, or sales staff yet. Or maybe you’re working with a skeleton crew. This means that you really need to get your name out there in the most beneficial and cost-effective way possible.
Before you dive headfirst into the world of PR for your startup, there are some things you should know about why PR matters so much in this stage of business. Keep reading to discover five significant reasons why startups need PR.
To tell your founder story
What’s your story? What do you want people to know about you and your business? How do you want them to feel after they’ve heard it?
Your startup’s story is unique, and we know you’re eager to tell it! A well-told founding story can capture the attention of potential customers, employees, and investors alike. In an episode of PR Profiles, Lindsey Groepper, President of BLASTmedia, says that telling the founder’s story can help you build your brand, develop a relationship with your audience, and make it easy for people to understand what you’re all about.
PR provides you with an opportunity to tell your founding story. Plus, the coverage you earn can be used in all sorts of ways: on social media, in blog posts and articles, even in pitches to investors.
To earn credibility
Press is one of the most valuable and cost-effective marketing tools for startups, but it’s not just about getting free press. It’s a strategic way to help your startup grow by connecting with your target audience and adding credibility to your brand.
A startup that secures press coverage in authoritative third-party publications instantly has more credibility than one that doesn’t. This is especially important when trying to secure funding from investors. Credibility is often earned through increased visibility, so it’s crucial to your business that people have heard of you. If they see that you’ve gotten press coverage in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, or some other trusted outlet, they’re more likely to invest in your company because they know you have some legitimacy behind your efforts.
Getting online press coverage will also boost traffic to your website and can improve the search ranking of your site’s pages (if the outlet includes a backline to your site). This makes it easier for new users to find you on digital platforms, whether they’re looking for information about your company or products, or just want to check out new developments in your industry.
To build your audience
PR can help grow your audience and pique the interest of early adopters. If you’re launching a new product or service, PR can facilitate communication with the right people and build a community. Even before a launch. In addition to showing off the hard work and branding efforts you’ve put into your company, this will encourage people to sign up for updates, so they don’t miss out on future announcements.
As a startup, you have lots of new information to share—releasing that information with formal statements can increase your prominence in the media. Afterward, apply a media monitoring and social listening tools to analyze sentiment, reach, and understand how the public received the information. This will help you shape your business strategy to appeal more to your audience and meet their needs.
To gain early adopter interest
People are more likely to try out a new product or service if they’ve seen it in the news. You will be able to leverage your media coverage to increase early adopter interest in your startup.
Early adopters are a key part of the growth of a startup. They are often the first to come on board, they can be a great source of feedback and they might even help you with marketing and product development.
This is why it’s so important to identify them early on—you want to get in touch with them right away, gain their trust. And suddenly… your company has lifelong loyal supporters.
To identify influencer relationships
Getting media coverage can help you build relationships with industry influencers. These relationships can be beneficial in the long run as you try to grow your business. Getting noticed by influential bloggers, journalists, and other key players in your industry opens the door to building a relationship with them.
Not only do they become aware of your company, but they also share your story with their audiences.
A successful PR campaign will help you build relationships with key influencers in your industry and position yourself as a thought leader in your field. This can lead to opportunities like speaking engagements at conferences and industry events.
Some of the identified early adopters could be interested in working with you to promote your business.
Don’t underestimate the power of PR
PR is a great way to get your company noticed. It can help you build brand awareness, get early adopters and customers, and ultimately attract investors. PR also helps you become an authority in your space by placing your story in credible third-party outlets and securing relationships with journalists, influencers, and bloggers who want to learn more about what you’re doing.
PR can make all the difference in your business’s success or failure. If you want to succeed in positioning your startup company as the best in your niche, putting PR best practices in place is where you should start.
PR is a powerful tool for startups, but it can be daunting. We’ve covered a lot of ground today, from why PR is so important to how a good story can help you get the attention you need, but we don’t want to leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Keep these tips in mind when approaching journalists with your story and remember that the best way to create a great story is by focusing on what makes your startup special—because with enough passion and determination behind it, anything can work!