Here’s how to tell if your startup is PR-ready

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At some point, every startup founder comes to the realization that they may need to incorporate PR into their company’s proliferation strategy. Indeed, with the right approach, public relations efforts can easily become a powerful tool for accelerating growth. The list of goals that can be achieved through a thoughtful public relations campaign includes the following:

  • Attract investors to improve the visibility of securing funding

  • Provide information about a startup’s products or services

  • Educate potential customers and partners

  • Create a favorable image for a company

However, all entrepreneurs should keep in mind that public relations is not a magic pill. It works best under certain conditions and with a deliberate approach. Before turning to this tool, you should assess its necessity for your business and your company’s readiness to launch a PR campaign.

Related: Is Your Startup Ready for Professional PR?

How to Know if Your Startup Needs PR

Before you turn to PR, make sure your business needs it in the first place. Analyze the market and your product, and look at the goals you want to achieve. Public relations will definitely benefit your business if:

  • Your startup is evolving in a highly competitive market;

  • Reputation and trust are essential for your business;

  • Your product is complex and expensive, and people can’t experience it before buying it;

  • You are looking for new partnerships;

  • You are looking for investors;

  • You want to expand your customer base.

But even if your business meets all of the above criteria, you need to think twice to be certain that PR and media relations are the best way to address these challenges for your startup. Founders often expect public relations to be the counterpart to advertising and a solution to direct selling. In fact, the first and foremost goal of public relations is to gain a reputation. Advertising management impacts sales, but only indirectly and when it works in synergy with marketing.

Related: What Startups Should Do Differently When It Comes to PR

How to Make Sure Your Startup Is PR-Ready

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for startup founders to underestimate the effort required for high-quality ad management. As a result, they launch a PR campaign too soon and get disappointing results. There is no sense in recklessness. Take the time to assess whether your startup is ready to launch a PR campaign. Here is a checklist below:

  • Your product or service is fully developed and working without errors: When you start pitching your business to the mass media, it’s important that people can try out what you have to offer and give it positive feedback.

  • You can clearly state the goals you want to achieve with PR: There are different PR tactics and strategies for different purposes. Approaches may vary even for different funding stages. Doing public relations without specific objectives is a waste of time and money and will not help anyone.

  • You already have a clear, brief description of your product or service and can explain how your business stands out from the competition: Journalists, potential customers and investors should immediately understand what they are looking at and why it is unique and deserves their attention. Also, don’t forget to translate the description and other texts into the languages ​​of all the markets you plan to enter.

  • You have defined the mission, vision and key messages of your startup: Everyone loves a company with a mission and a visionary. It makes a startup more memorable.

  • You have found the appropriate tone of voice and put all the texts in a consistent format: This includes all texts that can be found on your website, social media accounts and in newsletters. If a text becomes public, it must be in line with your communication strategy.

  • The company’s social media accounts and blogs are aligned with the current message and explain who you are and what you do: Journalists, potential customers, existing customers and investors will surely find them and analyze them like any other media publication would.

  • The speakers who represent your company have their social media profiles properly worked: Today, anyone can research every aspect of your business that they can find online. So take every opportunity to make a good impression and explain the importance of it to the team.

  • You have decided on the positioning of each loudspeaker: When you have a pool of media representatives for your startup (even if it’s just your CEO), it’s necessary to decide what topics they will cover as experts and communicate them clearly to journalists. and publishers.

  • Speakers have appropriate photographs taken by a professional photographer and a short biography: These things may be requested by journalists when preparing publications about your company. It is always very satisfying to present the people of your startup correctly during an interview.

  • You are ready to share exclusive data and analysis: This helps build credibility, especially in the eyes of journalists who generally have no desire to copy and paste previously published information and are always striving to impress their audience with something new.

Related: Is your brand ready for PR and press?

Small startups may be hesitant to hire a PR agency because most agencies’ fees seem overwhelming for these businesses. However, it is difficult for founders to control a company’s crucial operations and simultaneously initiate their public relations efforts. No effective communication with the media can exist in such circumstances.

A well-suited option may be to seek out a PR agency that focuses exclusively on startups, including those in the early stages. Usually, these agencies are keenly aware of the needs and difficulties of their clients and offer reasonable contract terms. You need to find a KPI-focused PR firm because with them you will have guaranteed results and can adjust your KPI requirements to your budget. A start-up in the early stages can accept the minimum KPIs and increase them later, when they can afford it.

Perhaps the most crucial thing to remember is that PR, being an effective tool, takes time to achieve the desired result and does not bring instant success. However, with the right approach, it can be powerful and help early-stage startups achieve their key goals.

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