Developing a PR plan for your start-up

5 min readSep 16, 2022
image source: pexels

Are you looking to expand your startups reach ? Would you like to expose your business to new people who could be interested in your product or service, or do you want to raise awareness so your prospects know you’re open for business? You’ve come to the right place.

The perks of getting press for your startup (product or any entity) cannot be emphasised.

There is a cliché that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity ,” but the world has changed since the birth of that notion and bad publicity for a startup or brand can put nails in its coffins . Also with the rise of the controversial cancel culture, it might be difficult to recover from the pitfalls from a PR nightmare.

On the contrary, good press, or publicity builds credibility and influences consumer perception and may lead to purchase decisions from your prospects.

A marketing material’s relevance to its intended audience determines its extent and effectiveness as a persuasive tool. After a few touch-points or peripheral cues, customers are compelled to make a purchase. In that sense, marketing and public relations act as key touch-points or cues that a customer encounters before decision making or the purchase of a product or service.

That being said, before you contemplate launching a public relations campaign or pitching the press with your latest announcement or news. Let’s explore these key questions.

What is PR and do you need it ?

PR (Public relations) involves using media channels to promote your business to build a favourable public opinion, as well as managing your business’ brand and communications, particularly during times of crisis. In order words, it is fostering good will from the public

PR is comparable to branding, as it is how brands manage the spread of their information or communicate with people. The primary distinction is that public relations spotlights communication and reputation, whereas branding relies on visual components like logos, websites, and marketing materials etc. Also, there are many similarities between public relations and marketing, but their goals are quite different.

Public relations is essential for all firms, regardless of size or industry. However, it is not advertising and will not always result in direct sales, but the right storyteller can develop strategies to raise awareness about your startup, highlight its success, projects, teams and get your story out in front of the right people or media outlets that build trust.

What makes your story newsworthy?

Content is at the heart of media platforms, a storyteller considers the value of the news or information while deciding whether or not to cover an event or announcement.

Newsworthiness explores whether the story being communicated has an impact on a news or media outlet’s audience.

Finding and verifying essential or intriguing information, then presenting it in a way that interests the audience, is the process of creating a good story.

Good storytelling is what distinguishes content and makes it more valuable than other forms of media. A good story revolves around a topic that the audience finds intriguing or significant.

A great story frequently accomplishes both by utilising storytelling to make critical news interesting and digestible to its audience. In addition, the public is diverse, people may share certain qualities or views, yet have a wide range of concerns and interests. Anything can be considered news. However, not everything is newsworthy.

How do you sell your narrative to the press?

Like marketing, creativity goes a long way for public relations. It is important to develop a unique story or point of view when selling your story to the press,

In addition, the impact and value of your news or announcement to their audience is your key selling point to a storyteller. Hence, the pitch should be able to express what is vital to you as well as the value you provide to the journalist. Consider a fresh perspective with background knowledge, context, statistics, data points, and research, among other things. Ensure your pitch or press release is complete.

Furthermore, incorporating supporting body content, such as colourful comments from your startup’s spokesperson/CEO, brings your press release to life and makes it more relatable. Simply providing facts or sounding self-satisfied will not suffice. A well-written pitch/press release allows you to control the narrative of your story and position your start-up as a force within the industry.

PR Strategy

A public relations strategy assists a company in developing and measuring the efficacy of its public relations techniques over time. Although it is distinct from a marketing plan, it should aid the marketing efforts.

A public relations strategy can include a whole year of marketing or focus on a specific aim, such as a product or service.

Creating a real public relations strategy necessitates a collaborative approach to communication.

Internal and employee communications are also becoming increasingly important. In 2021, 46% of public relations specialists would report directly to their CEO, an increase from 34% in 2014. The figure illustrates the growing importance of public relations in business operations and brand perception.

Let’s explore these fire tactics.

Investigate internal and external factors: Begin with the efforts that have succeeded, failed, or may have had an impact on your business in addition to a competitive analysis also to help to examine what works best for your competitors in your industry.

Outline your goals : It can be tempting to imitate tactics you notice during research, but instead decide on important goals. Irrespective of what your PR strategy seeks to address, it is important to create a short outline of goals to steer you and your team towards the right direction.

Consider your target audience for each campaign and choose the key messages you want to communicate to that audience. Also, your public relations success will be enhanced by building a strong foundation.

Whenever possible, align your PR metrics with business goals. This can help you draw a clear connection between public relations efforts and ROI

Also, if you are uncertain about certain aspects of handling your PR, you might want to consider working with a PR expert. Additionally, learn more about the expert’s experience and relevance to your start-up so they may be able to provide you with a media contact that is more appropriate for your announcement.

What is your distribution or outreach strategy ?

The real work lies in finding the right platforms and journalists to pitch your story to. While developing your distribution strategy, you’d identify what platforms and media outlets you should pitch to.

Invest some time in research. If your pitch is about your recent pre-seed round, you’d need to find journalists who cover startup finance. As a result, you’d have a great chance of getting your story evaluated. Ensure that you do not send your media release to the wrong media outlet or journalist.

Public relations is a delicate balance of creativity, persuasion, and strategy. It is an ongoing, iterative process. It can take time to yield results and profits, just like marketing. However, with a good approach and a dedication to spreading the word about your startup, you’ll notice an increase in mentions, backlinks, and other critical performance indicators. If all goes well, your startup will be ready to take the next step.




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