PR should be part of every start-up strategy

PR should be part of every start-up strategy

Public relations should be an essential piece of every start-up’s strategy as it builds credibility and gains customers.

Reporter relationships are the key to landing coverage in industry publications as well as the local media.

Most people don’t know how to kick off a media relations campaign with many viewing reporters as unapproachable and frightening creatures.

The truth is they aren’t and if what you’ve got to say is of value to them they will listen.

Many worry about saying the wrong thing to a reporter and stops them ever contacting reporters. So take a step back and remember that you’re talking to a human being.

If you like a reporter’s article, send him or her an email and mention what you enjoyed about the piece. Send a tweet with the article link and tag the reporter.

Don’t be artificial though as if you didn’t read an article, it will be immediately apparent. Be genuine and target reporters who are talking about your company’s industry.

Always be helpful as reporters need sources and experts to fill out their stories. The best way you can build a relationship with a reporter is by helping  as a source.
Offer yourself as a source to a reporter who covers your industry and be willing to comment on stories that aren’t about your company. If you’ll share your thoughts on a trending topic, you open yourself up to a wealth of new publicity opportunities. You’ll also establish yourself as a top expert in the industry, which benefits your company as a whole.

However, be concise as when you’re pitching a reporter on your product, cut out needless words. Reporters can share tales about receiving a 100 or more email pitches a day, many of them irrelevant. Lay the story out snappily and aim to make their job easier. If you have a piece of newsworthy content, they will respond but if your email drags on you can forget it.

Always be grateful as well.  You pitched a reporter and it turned into a story. The biggest mistake is dropping off the face of the Earth after a big round of news articles. It’s important to build an ongoing PR strategy, and stay on a the radar. One of the easiest ways to do this is to send a simple thank you email after a story comes out.

Also it’s worth remembering to contact reporters and stay on their radar for the long-term instead of emailing only when you have news.

A PR strategy that focuses on reporter relationships will in time see a payoff in media mentions.

Good luck.