By Julia Voloshchenko
Public Relations Specialist in IT with 4+ years of experience. With excellent communication and strategy skills, Julia helps technology companies spread their message to major media outlets.
Is my startup ready for PR? You may be asking yourself this question as you evaluate your resources. Where to start and how to effectively promote your brand and enter new markets? Of course, each case is individual and the strategy is developed based on the goals and target audience. In this article I'll share the basic actions if you are planning to start implementing PR activities for your startup.
First of all, to attract investment and partners. You should enter the market when you already have a product. At this stage, you need to define your goals and positioning, your mission and your personal brand. Also think about the visual component: the design of social media, business cards and other documents.
1) Choose your target audience.
This can be investors, potential clients or partners. Depending on your audience, you will have different goals and different messages on your behalf or on the behalf of other colleagues.
2) Choose your communication channels.
This can be your own blog on the website (or Medium, as an option), your LinkedIn page, other business media and social networks. You can also use offline communication channels: events or industry conferences. Don't forget the consistent tone of voice (ToV): it will be associated with your brand and influence your audience.
3) Determine your mission, which you will broadcast to the audience.
Formulate the texts you will publish and broadcast. If you have different target audiences, consider using different text formats. For example, share expert commentary, talk about the product, its uniqueness and the challenges it solves.
4) Work with your audience and community on social media.
If you encounter negative feedback, work through it first. This allows you to get valuable feedback and work on your product. Be proactive: the more often you interact with your audience, the more information you can get from them.
5) Work actively with the media.
You can use tools like HARO or Qwoted to submit comments for free. Make a list of priority media in your field and set yourself a KPI: for example, get 5 publications this month. This activity allows you to spread the word about your startup and get on the media stage.
Also, study in detail the market in which you plan to enter: its characteristics and competitors. This will help you decide your positioning and pitch.
If you have a product, clearly defined goals, a PR strategy, you are ready to share your financial performance, and you have analyzed the market — your startup needs PR.
If you have an idea at the stage of development, but no specific goals and mission — you should not use PR services yet. Work on the positioning of the startup and the goals for the next year, make a promotion strategy for the product, and then move on to PR actions. If you are in doubt about something, then take professional advice.
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