You’ve heard the phrase, “All press, is good press,” but, sometimes the hardest part is receiving any press at all. And, for startups that aren’t quite unicorn status, the lack of interest shown by journalists you’ve invested time and effort to attract, can be heartbreaking. That’s why as a startup, it’s important how you choose to present your business to the public. As you begin your press campaign, there are a few things to ask yourself. For example, what will drive more people to what I’m selling? How boost traffic to my website? Who can I partner with to better my business? Once you can answer these questions, you’ll be on your way to receiving some well earned “good press attention”. Also, here’s 6 Invaluable PR Tips for Startups to keep in mind:
1.) Plan six months early for conference speaking gigs
Speaking at conferences is a great way to get your name and business out there. However, securing a sweet spot on the speaking stage or the insider’s roundtable, requires early planning. Especially highly coveted events such as CES, up to 6 months or more, is the norm. People are always looking and listening for the next, big thing or idea. If you want to be one the people, others are looking to hear, plan now for 2018 conferences. Remember also, to increase your chance of being selected to speak it is best to scout only those that are a good fit your brand. Find out who else is attending (for networking purposes) and register early.
2.) Reasonably tie in your business story to a national trending topic
When asking yourself, “How can I gain more followers on social media?” Try hopping on the bandwagon for trending stories. This PR strategy can be a great starting point! Going viral would be any startup’s dream as long the content represents your brand nicely. One repost can land on the right person’s timeline, and before you know it, you’re instafamous! A good example of how to do this is to take a trending topic, then relate it to your business. The keyword here is ‘relate.’ It needs to make sense and maintain the voice of your brand. Trending topics could concern the economy, consumer buying trends or even the irrepressible President Trump, as long is it reasonably and logically is pertinent to your brand. Once you’ve targeted the story you want to use, the rest is up to your creativity to execute the perfect rendition.
3.) DIY PR for now
Until you can afford a professional publicist, educating yourself on PR tactics and ways to be more successful, will help you develop your brand. Take this time to learn the ins and outs of PR and everything you can about your business. Once you have driven enough traffic, and a publicist fits reasonably within the budget, then you should hire one. But, until then, you’ll survive and will do fine without one.
4.) Utilize the best writer on your team to generate fresh content weekly
We all have strengths and weaknesses. If writing isn’t your strongest asset, designate the best writer as the content creator. Grammar errors and misspelled words are a quick way to invalidate a business. If a company doesn’t properly use the English language, trusting the brand and its message becomes a hard task for the audience. If the best writer isn’t the most creative, other team members can bounce ideas off each other to get the needed message delivered.
5.) Connect with writers of lesser known/emerging tech outlets
Network, network, network! As a startup professional, you can never network enough. Upcoming writers are always looking for new, hot topics because they can lead to a big break. Think of it more as a partnership. They’re helping you by covering your topic, and you’re helping the writer build their portfolio and creating a potential way for more clout. Once connections are made, do your best to keep a good working relationship with the writer. That way, you have a guaranteed friend in the business down the line.
6.) Generate data (recent stats, survey results, etc.) within your industry to develop a report
Tracking your statistics is detrimental to your success. You need to know and understand your audience and what resonates. What time works best for your audience and what type of content is meaningful? These are all questions that will help you to create the best content and generate newsworthy results. Not just this, if your data is specific enough and offers your audience the unique industry information, you can create a robust proprietary report, podcast, infographic or other content. This content can then be pitched and picked up by the right editors who’re looking for coveted content to publish.
If you keep these six tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to reaping the rich PR rewards that attracting valuable media attention can bring and cash-strapped startups like yours, can afford.
You go media guru!