By Amanda Sutton, Guest Contributor
1. There is never a better time to tell your story.
The most exciting and newsworthy aspect of launching a new business, is you. So it’s a good idea to get used to talking about; your start, your experiences, what drives you, what brought you here – personal stories in the media have never been so desired or beneficial to a new company. The sooner you can get comfortable with telling your story, the more opportunities you will open up.
Your story may not only appeal to industry or business outlets, but a lifestyle focused approach could introduce your product or service an audience that you never thought of targeting. PR people know journalists, and they know how to tell a good story. Get out there.
2. You have a limited budget.
In this over segmented age of marketing services, how is one company to know in which basket to put all of their hard earned eggs: Copywriting? Online marketing? Video? Social media? It is the greatest time of opportunity, but also one of the most overwhelming undertakings to access these “free marketing” tools – and as we all know by now, none of them is truly free. Investing in a copywriter as an example, that’s great for content – but knowing how to leverage that content into multiple opportunities to support your vision, partners, sales, events, news, while delivering a strong corporate message? That takes a broader skill set.
Luckily, PR pros are the Swiss army knife of marketers, blurring the lines between writer, sales and brand champions. Not only will a well-done PR campaign live forever online, but the affects can be quantified in social sharing, blog content, web traffic, Google rankings as well as boosting strategic partnerships, industry credibility, community impact and internal morale. There is no better investment of your money than that.
3. You need investors.
Today’s angel investors are looking for a well rounded portfolio of clients – this could just as easily be you. On the flip side, your company may want the benefit of multiple investors and the diverse knowledge and experience that comes with that. But how would they begin to find you? While the world of tweeting and sharing may go a long way to build your fan base and support your brand – these VIPs are also looking to their own industry (and local) news sources to expand their horizons and seek out companies that are serious about success.
This can include trusted and relevant sources from MoneySense to Globe & Mail, CBC to BNN, and the like. What exposure from these sources can do is lend to your credibility from third party experts and give insight into why you or your product may be something to consider investing in long-term. It is not an easy task to entice these outlets to feature your story or your product. You will need help. Angels are everywhere.
4. Innovation is always news.
Let’s face it – some business sections of your favourite publication can get a little… cynical. I’ve once heard the business section of the New York Times be referred to as the (anti) business section by a well known investor and serial entrepreneur. To this end, it’s not that journalists are looking for negative or disheartening stories, I just really think not as many positive ones come across their desk.
Journalists will always be open to discussing the positive or innovative developments happening in areas of technology, environment, business, health, finance and elsewhere. If you feel your product has gone a long way to advance or improve an old system and you are tired of handing out sell sheets, PR can be your number one ally.
5. You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Some may no longer think this applies in today’s ‘here today-gone tomorrow-back again next week’ society. Instant gratification combined with access to a wide audience is an enticing thing for a new CEO or President. You have the power to attract, retract, rephrase, paraphrase at whatever interval and whatever mood suits you. But know this – smart people will always flock to the truth. “If you can get people to buy into your vision and they can trust that vision …they will trust you and give you business.” Harris Diamond
PR should be a skill used to help businesses hone in on their truth and articulate their core key messages. This is what you can stand on when going public. This will launch you on the right foot and solidify a strong foundation of followers.
For information on Catalyst CCs ‘PR Launch Kit’ for Starts Ups click here.
About the author:
Amanda Sutton is an entrepreneur, mother, wife and owner of Catalyst communications choreography. With 15 years in PR working with SMB clients, including BizLaunch, Amanda helps companies gain clarity and direction with their brand message and creates news and engagement through PR using media, community and social channels. Her blog has amassed a strong following and is a great source for the small business owner including tips, advice and industry insights into the ever-evolving world of PR and marketing. Contact her through www.catalystcc.ca or follower her at @catalystpr.