A media-savvy entrepreneur knows the key to PR is to build relationships with their desired audience to establish a good reputation for their new operation. However, when their start-up is so new — it has no reputation whatsoever — then the first port of call is education.
Craft the right message first
Spreading the word about a new business is vital – and is often done via a media release and social media. But before this step can happen, you need to assess the main goal of any PR activity. These goals could be:
- Educating potential customers about why your new product or service is exactly what they need
- Attracting funding or angel investors
- Trialling the product or service to determine where it fits in the market
- Finding staff or consultants to help develop your product or service
Each of these goals requires a distinct message with different media targets but, as you can see, there is work to be done on your story’s foundation before telling the wider world about your start-up.
Imagine spending time and energy putting together a media release and sending it out to your industry media to find you receive no response. When following up with the journalists and bloggers you thought would jump at the opportunity to share your story, you’re told they liked the sound of your product or service but their research resulted in nothing besides the release you had sent. It is hard for a journalist to pitch an idea to their editor when they are not completely certain about the product or service.
How to get traction
When there is no history for your start-up you have to establish its reputation from a blank slate. Start by working out who your audience is and exactly what it is they need to know about your start-up. Keep these messages simple and concise, instead of cramming the entire story into one big release. Being very clear about the gap your product or service is filling is vital at this point.
Your main goal at the very beginning is to show why your start-up is needed. Once you can clearly explain why your product or service will change your potential customer’s life you’ll be off and running. It helps to keep an eye on what your industry media is covering, so when the pain point your start-up solves is mentioned you can jump in with your solution.
And this is where the passion of a start-up entrepreneur will really work in your favour. You know exactly why you have spent time and money developing this product or service, and you know where it fits in the market. You’ve done all the research and now just need to tell your audience about it.
Tell the right people, the right story at the right time to build those relationships, and soon you’ll be on your way to a PR pipeline of regular stories.