photo by Nicole De Khors
By Cristy Brusoe
Startups don’t always have the budget to include public relations, yet it is a crucial aspect of success for any business. Even with a budget, oftentimes startups aren’t sure where to turn for PR support if they don’t have a qualified person on their team. Aligning your business with the right partners is essential in taking the next step and growing the business. Included below is a few helpful tips for those startup founders who are searching for a way to increase their brand exposure and bring publicity to their product/service.
Tip 1: Avoid Corporate PR. With a smaller budget, avoid large corporate PR firms that often ask you to work on a retainer. Search for a local freelancer or startup PR firm, who is working just as hard to “make it” in business. You can identify these folks via LinkedIn, via Google searching, or on freelancing sites such as www.upwork.com.
Tip 2: Do Your Research. Create a spreadsheet or database of media contacts you already know or who cover similar products and services. When you have news or a company announcement, reach out to these lists of media members. If you are hosting an event, call the local TV assignment desks – phone numbers are usually listed on the outlet’s website.
Tip 3: Don’t Burn Bridges. Only send reporters and media members information that is newsworthy. Newsworthy meaning-announcements, new offerings, a change in business, events, news that effects more than a niche group of viewers/readers. If you overload a reporter’s inbox with stories that aren’t newsworthy, you’ll start being ignored and seen as an unreliable source.
Tip 4: Utilize Cheap/Free Resources. There are several tools available to everyone that you don’t have to pay for, or are at a low cost. For example, HARO (help a reporter out) sends daily newsletters with requests from journalists looking for credible sources. Check out SCORE, which has hundreds of videos on every aspect of small business (including PR).
Tip 5: Start in Your Community. Put value in your local news media and bloggers. Bloggers have a much stronger influence than many larger businesses realize. A blogger is an everyday person, with a local audience. More importantly, bloggers have built a trustworthy relationship with the public and often engage them in their decision-making.
These are just a few tips to get your started with your businesses public relations efforts. Be creative and utilize your resources, because the more you get your business out there, the more known it becomes. Even the best business in the world isn’t anything without a presence in this world. Make yours known.
Minnesota native Cristy Brusoe formed Brusoe Communications in 2016. Using tools such as social media, company outreach and media relations, Brusoe Communications is giving companies the boost they need to reach a wider audience and have their stories crafted and told to target markets.