Tech startups face seemingly insurmountable odds during the journey from idea generation to seed funding to product launch. It’s estimated that 75 percent of venture capital-backed startups fail and that poor marketing is one of the top 10 reasons for failure.
Making public relations an integral part of your company’s marketing campaign is an effective strategy for tech startups to break through the noise, educate potential customers and generate product/service trials. Here are three ways to do it:
Have a clear message – and write it down
Most startups create a one-page executive summary about their venture that they share with potential investors when they’re raising capital. The one-pager is a pitch document that provides potential investors with a high-level overview of the company’s product/service, the revenue potential and basic marketing plan.
Startups should also have a one-page marketing plan that builds on the executive summary and digs deeper into the four Ps of marketing (product, place, price and promotion).
Startups should also have a one-page marketing plan that builds on the executive summary and digs deeper into the four Ps of marketing (product, place, price and promotion). This document will come in handy when working with the media to generate publicity about your company. When sharing information from the one-page marketing plan with reporters, limit the use of technical jargon and don’t over-hype your company’s product/service. Reporters will see right through words like “revolutionary,” “transformative,” “disruptive” and “cutting-edge,” so avoid the hype.
Build an online presence through blogging
Too many startups believe they’ll get media attention simply by sending out press releases. It doesn’t work that way. The reality is that most journalists and editors write about startups that are funded by well-known venture capital companies, founded by entrepreneurs with an established track record or have a growing customer base. Most startups, however, don’t fall into those categories, so getting the attention of reporters and building brand awareness is tricky.
One of the best ways to begin building awareness with the media about your company is blogging. Blogging allows startup executives to share company achievements and discuss current issues affecting your industry. It provides an opportunity for executives to forge connections with readers and industry influencers and become expert sources for industry trends and issues.
Get to know your trade magazine and websites
Whatever business you’re in, there’s a trade magazine or website that covers your industry. Trade journals and other niche publications/websites offer valuable media opportunities for startups to generate awareness and connect with potential customers. Trade websites are the go-to sites for professionals in your industry. Plus, it’s much easier to connect with trade editors and writers than it is with their brethren at the New York Times or Wall Street Journal. (For a list of what “not” to do when doing tech PR, check out this blog from our the Bradford Group Senior Account Manager Molly Garvey.)
Find out which magazines/websites are the most important and introduce yourself and your company to the reporters and editors. Find out how to contribute bylined columns guest blogs so you can establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Public relations for tech startups is about establishing credibility, forging connections and building a foundation with the media and other key publics. It’s challenging enough for established companies, so its essential that startups have a focused PR plan in place to build brand awareness that will contribute to the overall growth and success of the company.