All start-ups have one common issue: they need attention and brand recognition to grow, but they typically need to compete against larger, more established businesses. This can dampen the spirits of many start-up companies looking for ways to cut through the noise that mega-corporations are making.
Much like David and Goliath, you need to think small but mighty. Pick up your stone and modest slingshot, and use these PR tactics to knock those Goliaths flat:
1. Incorporate PR storytelling
Your most prized PR tactic is the storytelling of your business. All businesses have a story – how you came to the idea, how you got started and why. There are loads of platforms looking for good stories, gossip, fuel for debates and new thought leaders.
If you’re rising fast, get involved in these debates and provoke thought. Did you do this alone or are you part of a team? What were the struggles? Was this something you were born to do, or do you consider yourself a self-made?
The entrepreneurs that go on to become family names all have a story we know. As Hiscox explore in a recent study on whether entrepreneurs are born or made, whatever angle you use, storytelling has the ability to connect to your audience emotionally. If you do strongly believe you have the entrepreneurial genes, then this could be the basis of your story, for example.
You may not have a rags-to-riches tale, but your business values may be refreshing, your mission statement bold and your working processes admirable. Conveying this to your potential audience is crucial to raising brand awareness and profile.
2. Watch out for frivolous expenses, but don’t do it alone
There is a misconception that hiring a PR professional or PR agency is an unneeded expense. While this is certainly an expenditure, it is one worth investing in, as the knowledge and advice of professionals can help start-ups gain the basics.
Unless your start-up’s story is watertight, it is best to avoid marketing your company’s story without a PR agency present. Why? Because like a stain on a carpet, it is hard to get out and erase. For instance, if you claim that your sustainable company started after an idea you had in Asia, but this proves to be false, the public will label you a liar. The worst is negative reviews, which can land your start-up in sticky business, so avoid this by turning to the expert.
3. Define your goals and message
Goals ensure your PR campaign is on the right track. Common goals include:
- Building brand awareness
- An increase in website visitors
- Attracting new customers
Once you have outlined your business goals, you can create a PR roadmap that’ll show you how to get there. Be sure to consider the message you wish to convey along with your goals. What do you want people to remember about your business, and why should they care? For instance, if you are skateboard store and you allow people to design their own skateboard artwork, this added creativity can be your message.
4. Choose a newsworthy topic for your target audience
Established businesses like Apple and Samsung make the headlines almost on a day by day basis, so the competition is fierce when it comes to garnering media coverage. Rather than compete with the large corporations head on, ignore them and focus on your target audience. Have a newsworthy topic that will impact your audience.
5. Avoid going against the mega corporations
As previously mentioned, do not attempt to go against the mega-corporations. If your tech startup is releasing the news of new funding that allows you to develop a high-end product, do not make this announcement when you know Apple is scheduled to make one. Apple is notorious for making PR announcements around October time, and you can always Google their next event. For instance, the next Apple event is scheduled for Spring 2019.