Public Relations Strategy: The Key to Start-Up Success

Start-ups face a lot of risks. If you’re running one, or even just working for one, these risks are very familiar to you– if not, looking up the failure rate of start-up companies will show you the grim facts.

Typically, a start-up company has limited resources and a lot of responsibilities. They’ll also most likely have fewer employees than a more established company, which means that everyone on board has to do a lot more multi-tasking.

The good news is that you’re not destined to fail if you fully understand the risks involved and take the necessary steps to mitigate them.

That’s where public relations strategy comes in. You need to look good to your target audience and the public in general, and in general, public relations writing is better-received by the public than advertising; it’s perceived as the thoughts of a neutral third party and is therefore more trustworthy. Most people don’t trust ads, or are suspicious of their motives.

Plus, it’s estimated that people see 10,000 ads throughout the course of a day– it’s inevitable that most of them will be tuned out or ignored.

In order to succeed as a company, a start-up needs to establish its value in the public’s eye. Why should customers, clients, and investors go with you, instead of a company that’s been around longer and has had more of a chance to build its reputation?

Having a good public relations strategy can be a major key to success, especially if there’s been any kind of negative press about your company.

So how do you go about developing a public relations strategy?

There are luckily numerous public relations firms whose entire focus is on building a positive reputation for their clients. This means that you don’t have to start from scratch and try to figure out a strategy all by yourself.

When working with a PR firm, you should first try and figure out a specific goal. What do you most want the public to know about you and your company? What specific products and services do you want to promote? Why should customers seek out your company instead of others in your industry?

Figure out why your company is the best at what it does, and heavily focus on those points in order to establish yourself to the public as the best option. Do you give clients more personal attention than other companies? Is your product unique in your industry, or higher quality? Brainstorm as many positives as you can about your company’s unique positive qualities.

If you’re having trouble thinking of the right wording, you can revisit your ideas for creating the company in the first place. After all, if you thought your product was run-of-the-mill and just like all of the others out there, you wouldn’t have put all that time and effort into creating your company and developing your products and services.

It helps if you can back up your positive qualities with quantifiable numbers and statistics. Never underestimate the power of a great infographic; presenting the data in a way that’s eye-catching and easy to absorb can have an even greater effect than words alone.

How many clients come back for further services? You can ask them to provide you with testimonials. Testimonials are invaluable for establishing a business. According to Trustpilot, 90% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. When you’re looking into purchasing a new product, trying a new restaurant, or researching lodging for an upcoming trip, you most likely read a good number of reviews before making a financial commitment.

Similarly, if new clients and investors see positive testimonials from previous customers, they’re more likely to view your company favorably, and therefore more likely to spend their money with you, growing your customer base and ideally helping you secure more funding.

Don’t let the statistics about start-ups discourage you. You can take steps to prevent virtually everything that causes a company to fail within its first few years– you just have to have a clear vision for your company’s future, an understanding of where you fit into your industry, and a willingness to work with public relations experts who will help you reach your goals.

Image: Medienstürmere via Unsplash

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