These days, everyone uses social media, from your six-year-old niece to your 85-year-old grandmother, as well as early stage startups and established corporations. But startups—sometimes to preserve their limited resources—may make the mistake of replacing true PR with social media. Social media does have its place for sure; it can open up dialogue with consumers, generate brand awareness and showcase your company’s personality. Yet it can’t replace the value and scope of professional PR.
A successful public relations strategy not only assures publicity i.e. media coverage, it also provides a startup with credibility. At its core, PR is about strategic communications and relationship-building between companies and their target audiences. PR professionals are strategic planners and successful storytellers, creating compelling narratives to advance a company’s product or services to an appropriate audience.
ARTÉMIA understands that in the early days, whether pre- or post-launch, startups may not have the funds to hire a PR firm. Here are some tips and affordable tactics that can help your startup move beyond social media to a real PR campaign.
Startups tend to have a habit of engaging in PR prematurely, which is not advised and can lead to undesired consequences. To have an effective, focused PR campaign, you need to be thoroughly prepared. First, ensure that your website is updated and your social media is consistent with your brand. Next, develop a concise message that is value-driven. Make it clear, so that anyone not in the industry can easily understand your pitch. Answer the questions, “Why is my pitch newsworthy?” And “Why should the audience care?”
PITCH TO JOURNALISTS WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN YOUR STORY
Don’t pitch to every journalist whose email address you’ve obtained. Instead, find relevant journalists whose beat seems to mesh well with your startup. Go to Google and click on ‘News’ at the top bar. Search for topics related to your product or services. Limit the results to articles from the past month and scroll to the bottom of each to discover the journalist who covered the story. Many bios will include a link to the journalist’s Facebook or Twitter account, and from there, you can see what topics the writer covers.
To find a journalist’s email address, enter the link of the publication for which they write into Hunter. This will return the emails of some of the employees who work at your target media outlet, and by seeing the results, you’ll be able to guess the email address of the journalist you hope to pitch.
CONTACT LOCAL PUBLICATIONS
Many people love to buy local, so it makes sense that the publications in the vicinity of your company’s location will take more interested in writing on your pitch. Local coverage will give you credibility that you can then leverage to gain access to regional or national publications. Put together a list the publications in your area, then research online to select the journalists who cover areas similar to what your company does.
VISUALLY TELL YOUR STORY
The number of startups vying for press coverage is in the thousands and it can be difficult to differentiate your pitch from the competition. Because humans process images much faster than text, draw your targeted audience in through their eyes. Practice brevity by annotating infographics rather than creating an entire page of text. This will make it easier for others to read, and its simplicity will make it more likely someone will read it.
RECOGNIZE WHEN TO CALL A PROFESSIONAL
Having worked extensively to launch startups and build traction in the market place, we understand the large number of hats that CEOs wear. When you’re ready to let an experiencedPR professional help, give ARTÉMIA a call. Our professional PR storytellers and image-builders can help your startup through connecting you with our established networks of reporters, analysts, and influencers. We understand what it takes to create brand public awareness and generate opportunities to give your startup the extra lift it needs. Your startup can benefit deeply from the relationships we have built over the years in clean tech, finance, healthcare, high tech, government and utilities.
Should you want to make your company stand out from all the rest and need help creating your brand, message, and marketing, contact our communication experts today.
*For more valuable PR tips for startups, check out our previous blogs on the topic: