We asked PR and growth experts to provide their top hack for a successful PR campaign to our startup readers. What is your top tip on which channels and outlets to make use of right now? Which strategies work best? Which goals should founders aim for? Here are their answers:
Build up your own profile.
Robert Woodrich, Chief Executive Officer of PAPER & PAGE, an agency recently recognized as one of the 2019 Asia-Pacific PR consultancies of the year by the Holmes Report, says to build up your personal profile first.
“For emerging startups and entrepreneurs in the creative industries, establishing credibility is crucial — before promoting your fledgling brand, first build up your own profile. Ask yourself, “What are my unfair advantages in this market?” Then, proceed to exploit those advantages. In my case, I promoted myself as a globetrotting professional bringing international standards to a developing market and landed on the front page of Switzerland’s national broadcaster.”
From local to global.
Andrea M. Garcia, CEO of COMMS/NATION LLC, a goals based boutique Public Relations + Design agency
“Never underestimate where your customers live, literally. The biggest misstep in PR campaigns is completely overlooking and undervaluing local PR. Local PR has to be one of the most effective tools you could have under your belt. Reaching for that one national media hit is great, but what truly establishes you as a brand is having current media placements that are local and within your trade. When potential customers google your product, if they see local media, they know that you are legitimate and actually interact with some sort of community, i.e., you aren’t one of these sketchy companies that operate out of a P.O box and have zero accountable ties. Customers also trust and interact with their local news more. During client consultations, I only hear how clients want national media attention. But, then I ask, “what have you done to impress your local media? If local isn’t impressed, what makes you think National would be impressed?” In fact, reporters are actually more skeptical of your company and product if you have zero local stories.”
Keep it simple.
Stephanie Wolf of Stephanie Wolf Public Relations specializes in amplifying the voices of women experts and leaders in the news media. She reminds us to not over-complicate the message.
“Keep it simple, highlight what’s different, and start with who you know! The best PR campaigns — the ones that stand out among the crowd (and boy, is it crowded!) — are SUPER clear and simple. Like, your great Aunt Bess would get it instantly. Keep your top three message points in mind and highly focused on what’s unique and newsworthy. Keep your pitch short and sweet. And always keep the desired end coverage/result in mind — write the story you want to see placed with your journalist hat on the entire time. And then bring your brilliant, tangible campaign to your closest and smartest and most recent contacts first.”
Identify trending topics.
Matthew Bretzius, Partner at FischTank PR in New York City, says to identify a trending topic and act on it.
“A useful strategy for bootstrapping companies that aren’t yet working with an agency is Trendjacking — the art of identifying a trending topic that aligns with your business and offering commentary on it to relevant media. This is a great way to introduce yourself to reporters as a trusted resource that isn’t only looking to speak about themselves. Offering industry commentary without the need to highlight your own company is a great way to build reporter relationships that can lead to that killer company feature down the road. The best part is anyone can do it by keeping tabs on their industry.”
Podcasts are exploding.
Jennefer Witter, Owner of The Boreland Group Inc., a New York City-based boutique public relations agency, recommends to look at non-traditional media channels such as podcasts.
“ It is getting harder to get substantial press in traditional outlets: many are closing, cutting staff or reducing their content. Podcasts are exploding. What any start-up needs to realize is that it’s not the widest audience that the goal. Thee objective is to connect with the most strategic audience that will buy your product, act as your evangelist, and perhaps become funders. Podcasts are niche enough that you can go directly to those audiences and get your message heard.”
Tami Nealy, VP of Communications and Public Relations at Find Your Influence, a leading SaaS-based influencer marketing solution, focusses on endorsements.
“My top hack for a successful PR campaign would be to engage a thought leader, removed from your company, to deliver your message for you. Consumers trust third-party endorsements more than a company’s direct marketing message… Whether a social media influencer or an industry expert, other voices sharing their experience with your product/service are invaluable.”
PRontheGO.com — The Creative Entrepreneur’s source for PR hacks.