Early stage startups can’t do everything. Both time and investment won’t allow for it. You have to question every opportunity available to you to understand: what is the potential value? Is this the right time? What investment do I need to make? And what do I need to do to achieve the maximum impact?
If as a founder or business leader you are asking any of these questions right now about PR, we’ve got you sorted. In this series, we’re going to be taking you through the why, when and how to help you make the right decision for your business.
And it all starts here. Why should startups do PR?
PR builds brand awareness
The primary goal for starting a PR programme is to increase your awareness in a primary market. When we spoke with Tessian’s former Head of Comms, Laura Brooks, she explained that the main problem she needed to address from a comms standpoint when she started working at the company in 2019 was that “no-one [had] heard of us!”
Brand awareness is key to feeding the top of your funnel. You make it harder for people to buy from you if they haven’t heard of you. Remember your blog and social media will only get you so far in reaching new audiences. As Partech’s Global Director, Brand & Community, Keji Mustapha told us when discussing the importance of founders raising their profile, “it’s great to put it on your own blog, but ultimately if no one knows you, or your company, the likelihood of them stumbling on your blog is slim”.
PR builds credibility
PR is not just about being heard. It’s about having something to say. The media won’t engage with you unless you have something that is relevant and interesting to their audience. After all, media is a revenue generating model and they are serving their audience.
Sound painful? Well it’s what makes PR so valuable. When the media shares your news, it means you’ve done something they think their audience should know about. When the media engage with you around a topic, you are seen as a thought leader. When the media shares your customer story, it is seen as a valid account of the success you’ve brought them.
This media ultimately provides a validation. They’re saying to their audience – who should be your audience if you’re targeting the right journalists – check them out, they’re worth hearing about.
PR attracts investors
One of the greatest challenges that investors perceive for new founders is awareness. With competition for capital high, the value of “being noticed” in media and at industry events is increasing. But don’t just take our word for it. We asked a series of investors whether PR impacts a founder’s attractiveness with investors and the response was a resounding yes.
Martin Karschkes, Growth Investor at Lightrock said that “while we have a good understanding of market participants, sometimes you read an article and that’s where you find an interesting company. I believe it is particularly useful for bootstrapped companies that may not have had their growth reported on in the same way as those that have previously sourced capital from VCs. These companies are not typically popping up in anyone’s portfolios, and raising their profile in the media will help them get inbound interest.”
Elizabeth van den Berg, Executive Vice President at Insight Partners agreed, saying “if you are doing it, it significantly improves your chances. It’s not just about us hearing from you, it’s also about the brand equity.”
PR attracts talent
One of the first hurdles companies face when hiring is the question all candidates ask themselves: “would I want to work here?”. PR is a great tool to boost your employer brand toolkit and, in turn, support recruitment of great talent.
How? By promoting your company’s growth story as a rocket ship they want to jump on. By building the profile of your leadership as people who inspire them. And by showcasing the innovative work you’re doing that they want to be part of.
PR does so much more…
There’s a lot more that PR can do for your business. But we know your time is precious so will stop here.
But if you want to hear more about what PR can do for your business, reach out to our founder – Kate Baldwin – for a coffee and a chat. Her DMs are open.