30 Apr PR IS MORE THAN TIMING: 5 ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER (Part 2)
A few years ago, I shared tips on how startups and small businesses can determine when they’re ready for PR. With this industry, things are constantly changing and evolving. The pandemic also added to these changes with furloughs of staff and lack of events for the media to cover.
After 15 years in this industry I had to reassess what has worked for clients – particularly startups to see success in media coverage. Below is an updated list of things to consider before engaging PR.
Proven Track Record – Whether you’re a product business with a growing customer base or providing a unique service with well-known client partners, you will want to show and prove you’re a credible business. With so many startups and small businesses launching, journalists want to ensure that you have a unique solution but also you have people buying. If you’re still in the business development stage, then you’re too early. Focus here in garnering steady revenue, and bring in PR when you’re in a good place.
Online Presence – This is so essential. Your website needs to be user friendly. Your social content must be engaging. Your email marketing is consistent. Before conducting outreach to media, this part of your brand identity should function with no errors but also be of quality.
Rethink Your Budget – Project fees work for shorter time-frame opportunities. Events, a media mailer. But media relations is all about – relationships. These take time to cultivate and sometimes the three month engagement won’t cut it. Having a budget for at least 6 months is ideal. The newsrooms are leaner which means limited staff are covering more stories. And sometimes evergreen content can take months (even longer than six) to go live.
You Have Data and Assets – Whether it’s providing growth stats, names of customers on the roster or even industry data that shows why the company launched, the media needs data and context for the story you’re seeking to tell.
You Have the Time – Believe it or not, some founders are too busy for media interviews or don’t have a team to support on responding to queries and gathering information. If you’re bogged down with operations to the point, you’re pinched for time to speak with a journalist, then you may want put resources towards building a team first.
The questions in my previous blog post still need to be considered but these questions above definitely need to be answered before PR engagement begins. The communications industry will forever evolve and what we find working one day, may change the next. However, a small business or startup must think through in totality about the story you desire to tell and how prepared you are. Once you’re ready, give the communications specialist or agency a ring to get the ball rolling.