Three questions to help you work out when it’s the right time to launch a public relations campaign for your startup.
Earlier this month, I ventured down to the ‘real capital’ of Ireland, Cork, for a visit to the co-working space Republic of Work run by former Trustev marketing veteran and Irish tech ecosystem legend, DC Calahane. I had been invited down to be part of the panel of Attention Seeker, an event centred on advising startups and small businesses on how to get their company into the media spotlight.
It was a really enjoyable event, with a great mix of companies, from biotech to goldsmiths, posing some interesting questions. One of the questions that sparked a lot of discussion was:
“When is the right time for my startup to start doing public relations (PR)?”
There is no straight answer and every startup will have its own unique circumstances. But it’s never too soon to start thinking about PR for your startup.
Take some time to answer the following questions. They will help you gauge whether it’s the right time to launch a public relations campaign for your startup (or maybe engage a PR agency):
1. What do you hope to achieve from a PR campaign?
Write down your objectives. For companies with a marketing or sales strategy, this can be much clearer than for those without. Public Relation strategies work most effectively with clear goals and a target around deliverables and having an existing framework can help clarify that.
2. Are your goals realistic?
If you haven’t featured in media outlets anywhere before, it will likely take time to establish yourself before top tier outlets begin to take an interest. So ask yourself what a win should look like on a monthly or quarterly basis. Make sure your goals are measurable and achievable.
3. What are the key messages you want to communicate?
Perhaps you are trying to tell a growth narrative to attract investors or you are looking to recruit people in a highly competitive sector. Ensure your messages are clear and concise. Write down one to three goals; more than three and you risk running the risk of being pulled from your original objective.
Answering the three questions above will make you think about what you can achieve from launching a public relations strategy for your startup. The truth is, you can start pr at any stage of development but, you need to make sure you are prepared.
Great PR requires time
The final thing to note is that great PR requires time. This is especially true for startups stepping into the public realm for the first time. For the majority of companies, success doesn’t happen overnight and a great PR campaign requires both clarity of focus and persistence so as to avoid gaps in the growth story you will be presenting to the world. A bit of thought in advance can save you a lot of trouble later.
Questions about finding the right time to launch a public relations campaign for your startup?
If you’re exploring whether it’s the right time to launch a PR campaign for your startup, pop me an email over at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always happy to help where I can.
Managing Director at ClearStory International
James McCann is CEO of ClearStory International, a Dublin based international tech PR agency working exclusively with early-stage startups from around the world. Before establishing ClearStory, James was a former PR Campaign Manager with Web Summit, responsible for attracting top tier media to the company’s events across Dublin, Lisbon, Bangalore and Hong Kong. He currently lectures on Digital PR to final year students at the Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin.