At its core, public relations is the best way for startups to develop mutually beneficial relationships both with journalists and with the target audience. This helps generate positive brand awareness and grow the company itself.
Although big brands and corporations can afford to collaborate with professional PR agencies and have tailored campaigns, startups don’t usually have the budget to do the same. However, they can learn from others’ campaigns.
While every startup can distribute branded content and ads to guide consumers in their buying journeys, earned media coverage, especially in terms of features, brand mentions, and product reviews, are far more effective.
There are plenty of other benefits that public relations provides to startups, such as helping them attract top talent, building brand credibility, improving both customer acquisition and retention, increasing digital visibility, and more.
Goals and Pitches
Before creating any sort of PR campaign, the first step for every company is to set a clear goal for that campaign.
The goal can be to build brand awareness, get attention for a new product launch, showcase the business growth, encourage investment, or simply generate thought leadership and position the company as an authoritative presence.
When a startup has a clear goal in mind, it’s a lot easier to then create a strong PR campaign with a unique value proposition which will then be pitched to journalists in media outlets.
However, it’s important to note that the startup has to find journalists who are willing to cover the company’s story.
The best way to pitch the story in the first place is to first research past media coverage from the same journalists, provide relevant context for the pitch, and show how the story is useful for the target audience of the journalist’s media outlet.
In some cases, startups can receive positive media coverage and interest from journalists by lending their industry expertise or thought leadership to other high-quality websites or business publications relating to their industry.
While getting published on such outlets can be challenging, with time it will become a lot easier to create engaging and valuable content for these types of high authority outlets.
This also allows startups to reverse pitch, which means allowing the journalists to find the startup and its story instead of chasing media outlets for coverage.
If a company has a piece of content that’s good enough, or if the content goes viral, plenty of journalists will be reaching out to the company itself to connect and share its story, instead of the other way around.
Finally, one of the best ways that companies can get the attention of any journalist is to have an interesting story to tell in the first place. There are three core elements to all interesting stories. Uniqueness – providing a fresh angle or perspective to a topic, timeliness – analyzing recent news events, and relevance – tailoring the story to align with what the journalist has recently been covering.
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