Fierce competition in the marketplace is forcing businesses to create thoughtful marketing strategies. Apart from the very product or the offered service, the key to success becomes the favorable presentation of the business and being different from other brands. However, what does the process of planning an advertising strategy look like for startups, which often, being in the early stages of development, cannot afford to spend a lot of money? Read the article and find out how to promote your startup by using the potential of public relations.
PR for startups – table of contents:
PR in business
Generally speaking, public relations is defined as a set of activities aimed at strengthening the image of a given brand, while building good and valuable relations with individuals present in its environment. Nowadays, there are many tools and methods that, depending on the specifics of the given business, adequately support the process of creating the best possible opinion of the company in the market. For this purpose, both traditional media such as television or press, and more modern – social media, are used.
PR can thus be equated to some extent with marketing or branding. Taking proper care of a company’s good name and how it is perceived by those around it helps increase brand awareness. Promoting positive customer reviews acts as a magnet to attract new buyers, who in many cases blindly trust the public.
As a result, skillful PR built by providing valuable and creative content to the market contributes to the development of an integrated community centered around a particular business. Additionally, such a comprehensive approach makes it easier to build a loyal customer base.
Increased brand awareness through PR activities allows a brand to stand out in the market, attracting the attention of customers. Thus, reaching them becomes much easier, which turns out to be especially useful for companies in the early stages of development.
The dynamic structure of the business world makes the scope of public relations activities constantly expanding. In addition to activities that closely support the broader marketing strategy, it is becoming increasingly important to act effectively in crisis situations. Therefore, behind the notion of effective PR is also the planning of appropriate steps aimed at mitigating the negative effects of the resulting crisis, or preventing events that could in any way damage the good name of the brand.
PR for startups
The initial lack of sufficient funds is one of the most common problems faced by most startups, and it takes a long time before such a business starts generating revenue. So how do startup founders find their way in a highly competitive market and promote themselves with almost no money?
Despite many conflicting opinions, PR activities can work wonders even without incurring huge costs. For numerous startups, whose to be or not to be depends on presenting themselves positively among the competition, a carefully thought-out plan should be a basic element.
There are various reasons why entrepreneurs choose to implement this solution. Cleverly directed PR practices can attract business partners, new customers and even encourage investors to start working together. Therefore, even before starting their activities, startup founders should clearly define what they are aiming for and what effect they want to achieve through them.
Each goal is associated with a different audience, to which it is necessary to formulate the right message and choose the most appropriate channels of communication. A detailed plan with individual stages will make it easier to coordinate the entire process, while allowing for efficient control of progress.
The moment we start promoting our business is also an important element. Showing potential customers how fast the product and brand are developing will create a more authentic and appealing image.
How to take care of your PR?
Depending on the main goal and profile of their business, startups can choose the right PR tools to achieve the best results in a short period of time. An important aspect turns out to be the individual creation of a message with regard to the needs of particular audiences. Thoughtful PR activities should show the company as one that understands its customers and their social desires. When building an action plan, it therefore turns out to be helpful for startups to include the public opinion.
It is equally important to conduct a thorough analysis of the startup’s environment and position to date, which will help identify its strengths and weaknesses. A good preparation brings startups closer to the realities in which they will have to operate in the near future. As a result, the level of uncertainty is lowered, enabling the company to better prepare even for the ‘unexpected’.
However, even with the high involvement of startups, in many cases, effective PR is still quite a challenge. Developments in technology have enabled consumers to quickly verify the information provided to them. The excess of content and frequent manipulation have made it increasingly difficult to gain the audience’s absolute trust. Therefore, various strategies that streamline the process of enhancing a positive brand image continue to gain importance.
Although the final choice of a method depends heavily on the specifics of the startup or the target group, it is worth noting the overall potential of storytelling in this area. An engaging story related to the brand allows to create an authentic bond between it and the customer.
Consumers expect to be provided with valuable content, not just empty words. Therefore, the use of content marketing, which helps to create the image of a company as an expert in a particular field, is so popular. The role of an expert assumed in this way inspires greater confidence among buyers, who additionally feel educated by the brand, motivating them to choose this offer rather than another.
When analyzing PR activities, the participation of social media, which is nowadays one of the primary channels of communication, is also increasingly discussed. The constantly developing various portals make it possible to quickly reach a wide audience. As a result, in addition to merely building the image of a progressive brand keeping up with technological and social progress, startups have the opportunity to conduct a real dialogue with their target customers, for whom they were actually created.
Establishing a startup poses numerous challenges to its owners. The dynamic market and changing consumer needs are forcing businesses to be flexible and out-of-the-box. The demanding realities also do not make it easier to promote new businesses. Building a well-thought-out marketing strategy is perceived as something obvious today. However, nowadays, it is worth going a step further, developing appropriate PR activities that, in addition to highlighting the positive aspects of a particular startup, will also divert attention from any kind of shortcomings.
Read also: How to foster a startup culture?
The most important questions
Why are PR activities so important?
Increased brand recognition through PR activities allows the company to stand out in the market. In addition, PR also makes it possible to plan the right steps to mitigate the negative effects of the resulting crisis.
Does effective PR require investing a lot of money?
Effective PR more than investing a lot of money requires the commitment of the company.
What methods are worth using in the development of PR activities?
The use of storytelling or content marketing proves to be particularly helpful in building a stronger relationship with the client.