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If you’re like most startups, you are constantly looking for ways to get more publicity.
It can be tough to get your company in the public eye, but it’s definitely possible if you follow a proven framework.
In this guide, we will discuss some of the best ways to get publicity for your startup. We will cover everything from creating a strategy to working with PR pros to get the word out.
By following these tips, you will be able to increase awareness of your business and attract more customers!
What exactly is PR?
PR or public relations is the process of creating a relationship between a company and its customers.
It’s about creating a brand that people can trust and feel good about supporting.
Think of it as a type of marketing, but instead of only trying to sell something, you’re also trying to build a positive reputation.
Why should startups care about PR?
Successful PR can be more effective than traditional advertising as customers tend to trust earned reputation more than paid ads. This is because PR is a “third-party endorsement” so that means someone else is saying you are great, advertising is you saying you are great so not as effective!
It can also help you build credibility with investors, partners, and other key stakeholders.
Plus, it’s a great way to get your company in front of a wider audience. Paid ads need to be targeted to a specific group of customers, otherwise, your ad campaigns would probably not be profitable.
PR allows potential customers who are outside these targeting parameters to also see your message and become buyers.
How is PR for a startup different from PR for an established brand?
The main difference is that startups have to start with a blank slate: no customers, no brand recognition, no reviews, and no word-of-mouth from happy buyers.
Therefore, a startup usually must work a lot harder to get noticed.
One of the most common mistakes from new companies is that they are looking at competitors who are already successful and trying to copy what they are doing, planning to be at their level in a few months.
However, you’re often competing against established brands with large budgets and years of experience.
You have to be realistic about the goals you can achieve with your likely smaller budget and the timeframe of building up the coverage and reputation needed to reach a similar level of success.
That’s why it’s important to be strategic about your PR efforts. Let’s see how it’s done.
The role of PR professionals
If you are like most founders, you are passionate and enthusiastic about your business but this does not necessarily translate to being able to generate publicity.
Unless you or someone in your team happens to be a former PR professional, you will likely need to seek outside help.
A good PR agency or consultant can be worth their weight in gold, but only if they are the right fit for your startup.
They will work with you to develop key messages, create a plan to get media coverage, and implement the tactics needed to generate results.
They should also have strong relationships with journalists and other influencers in your industry.
The goal is to get your company featured in high-quality publications that reach your target audience and do it in a way that fits your budget.
How to choose the right PR agency for a startup?
The first step is to create a list of agencies or consultants that specialize in working with startups in your industry.
You can ask for referrals from other founders, look at online directories, or search Google.
Once you have a list of potential candidates, the next step is to research each one.
Look at their website and see if they have any case studies or testimonials from past clients.
See if they have been featured in any publications that you admire.
And most importantly, see if they have a good reputation online.
You can do this by searching for reviews on Google or looking for any negative articles about them.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few agencies or consultants, it’s time to reach out and set up meetings.
Be sure to ask about their experience working with startups, their approach to publicity, and what kind of results they’ve been able to achieve for past clients.
Creating an effective startup PR strategy
You can also do PR yourself if you have a low/no budget and time to dedicate to it.
You need to stand out and tell a compelling story that will make people want to pay attention to your brand.
That’s why it’s important to have a clear PR strategy that outlines your goals, objectives, and the message you want to communicate.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself when creating your PR strategy:
- What are my overarching business goals?
- What do I want to achieve with my PR campaign?
- Who is my target audience?
- What kind of message do I want to communicate?
- What are the unique selling points of my business?
- What sets my company apart from the competition?
- What are some potential PR angles for my story?
Once you have answers to these questions, you can start to develop a plan of attack.
Your PR strategy should be built around your brand’s purpose wrapped in a story that gets the attention of both journalists and your target audience.
What is the mission of your company? What are you trying to achieve?
Your brand story should be about more than just what you sell.
It should be about why you do what you do and the difference you are making in the world.
People want to buy from companies that they believe in and that are making a positive impact.
Your ideal customer
Narrow down on a group of people you consider to be your ideal buyers. Look at other brands with a similar brand purpose to yours.
Dig into the details of their followers, read the engagement on their social media posts, and other forms of communication. Try to understand who these people are.
What are their needs? What are their pain points? How does your product or service make their life better?
Once you have a good profile of your ideal customer it’s time to create your message for them.
Crafting your story
Your brand story is a crucial part of your PR efforts. It should be relatable, emotional, and authentic if you want people to pay attention.
Your story should be something that journalists can write about and that your target audience will want to read.
Some elements of a strong brand story include:
- A protagonist (your customer) with a problem
- The journey they go on to solve that problem
- How your product or service helps them overcome the challenges they face
- The results or transformation they experience because of your product
- The happy ending (or continued journey)
A great brand story has the power to capture people’s attention and make them want to learn more about your company.
It should be something that you can use again and again in your PR efforts.
Executing your PR strategy
It is now time to put your plan into action.
There are several ways you can get the word out about your brand, but some of the most effective methods include:
- Creating a strong social media presence
- Getting involved with influencer marketing
- Reaching out to journalists and bloggers
- Participating in trade shows and events
- Creating thought-provoking content
- Sending out press releases
Each of these tactics can be extremely effective if executed properly.
The key is to focus on quality over quantity and to make sure you are reaching the right people with your message.
Writing a press release
One of the most common PR tactics is sending out press releases.
A press release is a formal announcement that is sent to journalists with the hope that they will write about your story.
To increase your chances of getting media coverage, it’s important to write a compelling press release that tells a good story and includes all the essential information.
Some tips for writing a great press release:
- Write a catchy headline that will make people want to read more
- Include quotes from company leaders or customers
- Tell a newsworthy story that is relevant to your target audience
- Keep it short and to the point (one page is ideal)
- Include high-quality images or videos
- Make it easy for journalists to contact you
Sending out a press release is a great way to get media coverage for your brand. However, it’s important to remember that timing is everything.
You need to make sure you are sending your press release at a time when it will be most likely to be read and when it is relevant to what is happening in the world.
For example, if you are launching a new product, you might want to send out your press release a few weeks before the product hits shelves.
This will give journalists time to write about it and generate excitement for your launch.
To learn more about writing a killer press release, read our detailed guide here.
Building a media list
Another crucial part of your PR strategy is putting together a media list.
This is a list of all the journalists, bloggers, and influencers who you want to reach out to with your story.
The key to creating a strong media list is to make sure you are only including people who are relevant to your brand and who would be interested in your story.
Some factors to consider when building your list:
- The type of media outlet they work for (e.g., newspaper, blog, podcast)
- Their audience or readership
- Their geographical location
- Their areas of interest or expertise
Once you have created your list, you can start reaching out to the people on it.
The best way to do this is by personalizing each email or message you send.
Tell them why you think they would be interested in your story and why you think their audience would benefit from hearing about it.
If you can make a strong case for why your story would be of interest to them, you are more likely to get their attention.
Affordable tools such as readly.com and snov.io can be great to help in researching media.
Pitching your story
Once you have built your media list and crafted a personalized pitch, it’s time to start reaching out to journalists.
The best way to do this is by emailing or calling them directly.
When you contact them, make sure you include all the essential information about your story in the email (or have it ready to go if you are calling).
You should also include a press release or other relevant materials that they can use if they decide to write about your story.
We have an awesome guide on how to contact journalists here.
Measuring the effectiveness of your PR
Measuring the results of your PR efforts is an often underrated but very important part of the process.
After all, if you can’t measure the results of your PR campaign, how will you know if it was successful?
There are a few different metrics you can use to measure the success of your PR efforts:
- Media impressions: This is the number of times your story appeared in print or online. You can measure this by doing a Google search of your company name or the title of your press release.
- Media reach: This is the number of people who saw or heard your story. To calculate this, you need to multiply the total number of media impressions by the average readership or viewership of each outlet.
- Social media reach: This is the number of people who saw your story on social media. You can measure this by looking at the total number of likes, shares, and comments on each social media post about your story.
- Website traffic: This is the number of people who visited your website after seeing your story. You can measure this by looking at your website’s analytics.
- Sales: This is the number of sales or leads you generated as a result of your PR campaign. You can measure this by looking at your sales data.
By measuring the results of your PR campaign, you can get a better understanding of what is working and what isn’t.
This will allow you to adjust your strategy and make sure your next PR campaign is even more successful.
We have a really good article you can read on advanced ways of measuring your PR.
How can Press Loft make the whole PR process for your startup easier?
At Press Loft, we are proud to offer a comprehensive yet easy-to-use set of tools that can help your startup at every stage of the PR process.
From creating a press release to pitching your story to measuring the results, we have everything you need to get the most out of your PR efforts.
Our platform is especially well-suited for eCommerce brands selling products in the interiors/gifting/fashion/food & drink/consumer tech spaces.
Our image library and creative studio make it a breeze to feature your high-quality images to thousands of journalists actively browsing our database looking for photos they can feature.
And best of all, you can start using our platform totally free. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for our FREE TRIAL today and start making real PR progress today!