The Role of PR in Startup Marketing
Startups often face a great deal of skepticism from potential customers. Media coverage can help establish credibility and build trust.
From big publications like TechCrunch to niche industry newsletters, startups can leverage PR to generate buzz and attract attention. But what should their strategy look like? Here are some key points to consider.
1. Build Credibility
While PR isn’t the first thing on most startup’s agenda, it should be included early on. The goal is to grab the spotlight in a way that makes your business stand out from the competition and keeps your company top of mind for your target audience.
This can be done through a variety of ways, including press releases, media events, and content marketing. The key is to choose the right channels for your brand and target audience. For example, a tech startup would be better off targeting publications and websites focused on technology than going after the mainstream mass media outlets.
It’s also important to measure your results and make adjustments as necessary. One of the most important benefits of PR is that it can boost your credibility. Getting covered in a credible publication shows potential investors that you’re serious about your business and that it has the potential to be successful. This can help you raise capital faster and secure the funding you need to grow your business.
2. Attract Investors
Obtaining positive media coverage helps startups establish credibility and build trust with potential customers, investors, and stakeholders. A PR strategy can help them achieve this by showcasing their unique value proposition, growth potential, and market traction.
It’s important for startup entrepreneurs to remember that big outlets like TechCrunch and WIRED receive hundreds of pitches each day from marketers looking to get their businesses featured. As a result, it’s essential for startups to focus their efforts on pitching journalists who specialize in covering their industry.
Moreover, by focusing on building strong relationships with these reporters, startups can increase the likelihood of their story getting published. Ultimately, this will help them generate more engagement with their audience and improve their bottom line. By promoting transparency, establishing an open culture, and creating a sense of community, startups can foster loyalty among employees. This, in turn, can make it easier to attract top talent and retain them. A well-implemented community relations strategy also helps startups develop a good reputation in the communities they operate, which can further support their business growth and development.
3. Generate Buzz Before Launch
Especially for startup businesses that don’t have the budget to make an impact with advertising, PR can help them build visibility and buzz before they launch. By identifying journalists that write about their target audience, they can get their story in front of potential customers before they’ve even launched their product.
As a result, it’s important for startups to develop a comprehensive PR and communication management strategy. This includes defining clear goals for each campaign. Focusing on one wildly important goal is the best way to ensure that you don’t spread yourself too thin and miss out on opportunities. Ideally, these goals should be tied to lag and lead measures so that you can track progress over time.
For example, a great goal would be to see an increase in new press inquiries after a piece is published. Another would be to monitor whether news that’s been picked up by bigger outlets is also getting covered in smaller publications.
4. Drive Customer Acquisition
Startups and SMEs often put too much emphasis on product development, causing them to ignore the importance of marketing strategies that can drive growth. PR is one of these strategies that startups can use in the early stages to build their brand, gain exposure, and discover customers.
By leveraging influencers and media outlets that already have an audience, startups can generate buzz that drives traffic to their website and social media channels. PR can also be used to share a brand story that explains how the company came to be and what it stands for, which can help them connect with audiences and build loyalty.
Every startup CEO dreams of landing coverage on TechCrunch or seeing their company in the New York Times, but not everyone has the time to dedicate to a PR campaign when investors are waiting for updates and invoices need to be sent out. By using a public relations calendar, like CoSchedule, startups can streamline their PR efforts and make sure they are always posting content that is relevant to their audience.