PR tips for startups5 years ago Arpita Soma
Did you know that there are over 472 million entrepreneurs worldwide?
Every startup is in a constant battle to establish their brand and create huge visibility for their product/service and PR plays a major role. While funded startups allocate huge budgets for marketing, press releases, newspaper articles and more, here’s a few tips that one with limited resources can use to gain visibility.
Your PR exercise for your startup starts at least 3 to 4 months before you plan to launch your product. It involves creating your decks or concept notes, having pictures and stories of the team ready ( a media kit), connecting with writers and journalists and staying in touch with them and so on. PR is a process and is not a one time activity.
1) Create a great story.
Identify who you are, what the startup is all about, your values and mission and culture, your unique proposition etc and create a brand identity. Weave an interesting story around how it all started and the giant problem you are solving. Use this story in all your narratives; media pitches, social media, blogs, networking events and everywhere you talk about your startup
2) The image of the CEO matters
In the early days, often people associate a startup with the CEO. Be accessible and attend networking and startup events. Contribute as much as you can to the startup ecosystem in your city. This kind of image building and visibility will create a credibility and will often help in putting you in front of the right people.
3) Identify journalists and guest bloggers
Read through startup blogs, websites that write about startups, follow blogs of authors related to your domain. Make a list of all of them and try connecting with them over Linkedin/Twitter. If you see a common connection, ask them to introduce you. Get in touch with them, share your story and convince them to do a post on your startup. Have a crisp email or a short message handy. Build relationships with them.
4) Create assets that are unique and easily ‘share’able
Try to standout among the crowd. Conduct innovative contests involving tagging friends and sharing on social media. There is always chance to go viral and get noticed. Try creating an infographic about the startup or one with interesting facts about the space/domain you are in. Or maybe be a part of a crowdfunding campaign. Or share tips that can help your users.
5) Numbers and stats
When pitching your startup to a jounalist or a guest author/blogger, make sure you use numbers and statistics or any data that supports your pitch and makes your startup an interesting and ‘newsworthy’ story. Will your startup help people save 20% every month on fuel? Will your startup help people find the nearest hospital?
6) Become your own PR agent
Linkedin a great medium to gain solid visibility. You can write a series of articles (again! make it a story!) starting with the problem consumers are facing and what are the solutions available in the market and how these are not able to completely solve the problem. Write about how your startup is unique and is solving the problem. Read through blogs and leave interesting comments so that they visit your profile or website and can read the articles you wrote about your startup.
Make it a point that you attend at least two events in a month and speak to at least five people about your startup every week. Pitch or introduce your startup at every possible opportunity.