We’d love to say that your startup should have a PR agency in place from the get go, however, this isn’t always the case. Regardless of how brilliant, innovative and unique your startup is you still need all your ducks in a row in order for a PR agency to create an effective strategy that will meet your business needs. Here are five questions that will help to determine whether you’re PR ready:
1. Do you know who you are and what your startup offers?
This may seem like an obvious question, but if you’re not 100% clear on what your company is, then startup PR will be a waste of money. You need a snappy elevator pitch, clear branding and a functioning platform or product so that PR efforts will support and work in unison with your business, without creating a huge disconnect.
2. Can you outline your goals?
If you don’t know what you want for your company, neither will a PR agency. What are your top business goals for the year and are they achievable? Do you want to acquire new client prospects? Increase website traffic? Attract investors? If you present clear goals to a good PR agency, you’ll be presented with a comprehensive media strategy designed to help you achieve them.
3. Do you have the time?
Many startups underestimate the amount of time it takes to actively engage with their PR agencies. PR is absolutely one of the most effective promotional investments you can make, however, to reach the goals you’ve set you will need also need to invest your time. Being brutally frank, the less input you have into the campaign, the lower the chances are of it achieving all the objectives you have set for it. Another important think to ask is how available is your CEO or spokesperson? If you want business profiling, you need to be prepared to be available to journalists – entirely on their terms – and if you stand them up, there’s a good chance there won’t be a second opportunity.
4. Do you have the budget?
Getting your big idea in front of the right journalists, investors and influencers is a top priority for any early-stage business, however, a full-scale PR programme with a top agency, isn’t always achievable for fledgling companies. Speak to PR agencies to see what they can offer, packages like Launchpad provide you with the PR expertise without the long term commitment.
5. Do you have a good story to tell?
As much as we’d love to believe that we can work PR magic, we need a story or news to work with. PR agencies will work with you to establish what your story is and how best to deliver it to the media and your target audience, however, if you have an interesting opinion or point of view on industry trends, topics and news… Even better! Having an interesting, insightful opinion will set you apart from startups and businesses competing for the same news space as you.