Whether you're in the middle of developing a game-changing app, a new must-have product or savvy service, if you're in start-up phase, chances are you're operating on a very lean budget.
So how can you build the profile of your fledgling brand when your budget is so tight?
You guessed it. The media! It's the quickest way to gain visibility and build reputation. The right kind of visibility is crucial to attracting funding, investors and new customers.
This is where strategic PR fits in. It's free and has a high return on investment and considerably more credibility than paid advertising.
1. Find journalists who cover your niche
It's not about 'the more the merrier'. Be very specific about which media you want to cover your start-up. For instance, if you're in the tech space, then focus on developing relationships with tech journalists and the media outlets that publish tech news.
2. Be personal
Reaching out to journalists can be a challenge as they are often inundated with emails, media releases and event invites. Cut through by being friendly and personal. Don't spam them with media releases. It takes more time, but trust me, it works better than sending impersonal mass emails.
3. Create publishable content
Create content and share it with online media and blogs where your investors and customers hang out. Share your story, experiences, insights and knowledge. This is a great way to position yourself as an expert and build trust with your audience.
4. Tell a story
The fact that you have a new product or start-up isn't a story. The pitch needs to be your point of difference and what you're offering as a story. A journalist's role isn't to promote your business; it's to tell a story.
5. Speak up
There are so many start-up events and meetups now. Start by attending and networking, and then graduate to sharing your start-up journey via speaking engagements. Speaking is a great way to be seen as an influencer and you'll also be able to introduce your start-up to a whole new audience and position yourself as an expert in your field at the same time.
I have helped many start-ups get crucial funding and heaps of customers through PR, so I know this works. It really comes down to uncovering your interesting stories, and telling them to the right journalists.
Here's to seeing you in the spotlight.
About the author
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. www.unknowntoexpert.com
Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business. www.cpcommunications.com.au