Friday, November 20, 2015

How to achieve good PR when you're a startup

By David Ronald

Public relations is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. In an era when anyone can broadcast their opinions about your startup to the world, good PR remains as vital to the success of a business as it always has been. Indeed, it’s arguably more important than ever.

Even so, good PR requires a new level of engagement on the part of entrepreneurs and companies and in this blog post I’m going to examine what that involves.

  • Less what, more why—although innovators are right to be proud of their latest development, it’s important to avoid falling into the trap of focusing on the “what” it is and “how” it works. Focus, instead, on the “why” it is going to have an impact and enrich people’s lives.
  • Search for a “hook”—endeavour to pitch your product or service by relating it to current hot button issues as much as you can, as this increases the probability of successfully “hooking” your audience.
  • Tone down jargon—yes, it’s true that our lives are full of technical buzzwords but don’t automatically expect that everyone understands all of the ones you use. Describe your innovation in everyday language as much as possible.
  • Map your messages—it’s generally true that the technical press is the best place to seek coverage if you have an exciting product announcement and the business press is more suitable if you have company news.
  • Avoid irrelevant news—the quickest way to excite an editor’s “delete button reflex” is to get your company associated with non-news. Overcome your natural urge to be “in the news” regularly and, instead, put out press releases only when you something truly interesting to announce.
  • Connect on social media—journalists, even at mainstream publications, use social media as a key way of staying abreast of breaking news. Posting your news on properties such as Twitter and Reddit can help you gain coverage.
  • Seek bloggers' coverage—the blogosphere is the perfect link between social media and PR as bloggers are active on social media and many of them are closely monitored by journalists.
  • Identify your keywords—determine the keywords that will give you an edge over your competitors and use them your press releases, social media posts, and so on. Spyfu (, for example, is a good tool for helping determine which keywords to use.
  • Publish social media-friendly content—since your goal is to prompt engagement, and potential sharing, post content on social media that elicit an emotional response. Case studies, for example, are an ideal way ay to get your message across.
  • Leverage Google Analytics—you can determine which online publications are helping drive traffic to your website using Google Analytics. Put more of your advertising dollars there.
  • Focus on media where you advertise—the walls between advertising and editorial are sometimes rock solid and sometimes non-existent. A good rule of thumb, however, is that you’ll get the best coverage in the publications where you’re spending the majority of your ad dollars, and vice versa.
Do you agree with this list?
Leave us a comment if you feel we've left something off it. 

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