Why PR is Paramount for Start-ups!
27 Nov 2020
A voice echoed by any leading PR agency in India working with start-ups
A start-up allocating its limited resources to different departments might not always think of PR. “We’ll do our own promotional activities,” the founders might say. PR, however, is actually vital to a start-up’s overall growth, simply because no business – however revolutionary – can scale if people don’t know about it. When start-ups promote their brand, they are going up against larger, more established firms with significantly more resources. There is only so much a start-up can do on its own against those odds – which is where PR comes in. A PR agency can help to shape the public’s perception of a start-up. The better the start-up’s public image, the greater the customer loyalty, which translates to increased sales and higher profits.
Particularly in these trying post-Covid times, people need reassurance that the brands they buy from are empathetic to their needs and are committed to doing good. PR strategies, carefully implemented, can give people this reassurance and boost a start-up’s brand beyond anything conventional marketing can do. Here are the ways a PR agency can help a start-up reach the big leagues.
Anyone can spew facts on how a product works, but not everyone can weave a story around how the product will make people’s lives better. PR agencies help start-ups craft stories that their audience will connect to on an emotional level. With the right tone and language, even complex ideas can be turned into stories with a journey and a hero moment – and PR agencies can help start-ups find the perfect hero moments for their audiences.
A start-up may not be putting out new products or updates all the time. However, in order to stay top of mind for its audience, it needs to have a regular flow of relevant content. A PR agency can help start-ups plan a content strategy that suitably reflects their expertise and also gives audiences information that they want. For instance, the start-up can share its opinion on the latest trends in its industry, or tips and tricks on how to navigate any tools that the industry uses. By writing content that focuses on different aspects of the start-up, the PR agency can share it with different media outlets and thus keep the interest going across multiple audience bases.
Brand promotion can happen through any number of outlets, from Facebook to business magazines to television features, but it is the PR agency that can help start-ups choose the channels that are the most appropriate for them. This not only saves time and money, but is also the most reliable way of connecting the start-up with the audiences most likely to be interested in it.
A start-up needs the right journalist connections to be featured in magazines and trade publications, but not all journalists may be the right ones to approach and a direct pitch may not necessarily work. PR agencies help start-ups form relationships with journalists by interacting with them on social media or trade groups, continuing an insightful conversation with them and then sharing thoughtful insights for dissemination rather than just brand/product promotion. This improves the start-up’s chances of getting featured and also feeds the positive media image.
The more a consumer knows about a brand, the likelier he or she is to trust the brand enough to try them out, and that is where PR plays a big role. The right PR can portray the start-up as not just a business but also a team of people with human values and the will to do good. Trust is key when it comes to building long-term relationships and start-ups are no different, and consumers tend to trust what they read about a brand in media outlets more than any promotional social media content. This also means that PR has better conversion rates – research shows that PR generates conversion rates 10 to 50 times greater than that of traditional ads, which the public tends to trust less.
From a purely financial point of view, PR makes sense. Advertising typically involves a cost-per-click type deal that can easily rack up to massive amounts within a few weeks. By contrast, a PR agency will typically ask for a monthly, quarterly or annual retainer fee that is far easier on the pocket. Given that start-ups have limited budgets, a trustworthy PR agency is the best way to go.
It is important to remember that PR needs good timing to work. A start-up should have its product ready to sell and its vision and mission in place before approaching a PR agency so that they can generate the right kind of publicity for the start-up’s story. Once that is in place, a PR agency can provide media exposure and shape public perceptions in ways that a start-up would be unable to do on its own. And now more than ever, the right kind of exposure and perception is worth its weight in gold.